Los Angeles -- Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after the Trojans (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) lose to Oregon (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12), 62-51.
USC coach Lane Kiffin comments:
Three’s a crowd: “The game comes down to three offensive possessions. We kicked a field goal early. No points on the interception (in the end zone). And the fumble in the red zone, that makes a big difference.”
On Oregon: “They’re better than we were because of their quarterback (Marcus Mariota) speed. He’s playing really well. We gotta find out how to make a sack and a fumble and make those plays in critical situations.”
On his team’s problem of defending the spread offense: “If you have back-to-back games (Arizona and Oregon) with over 600-yard games, we’ve got to look at what we’re doing, obviously. We’ve played two teams and both have over 600 yards, that’s not real sound and where we want to be.”
Oregon coach Chip Kelly comments:
On the high-scoring victory: “With (Robert) Woods and (Marqise) Lee, how accurate Matt (Barkley) was throwing, you knew it was going to be one of those games. We had to answer offensively. Those three guys are three all-time greats.”
On the Trojans: “You have to give credit to USC. Matt Barkley (35 of 54 for 484 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions) and Andrew Luck are the two best quarterbacks I’ve faced, and Marqise Lee may be the best receiver I’ve had the opportunity to coach against.”
More notes and anecdotes
The offensive scoring average: The Trojans scored 51 points against Oregon. They came in averaging 35.0 points per game.
California dreaming: Afterward, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who went 20 of 23 for 304 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, revealed, “When I was growing up, I wanted to play in the Coliseum and go through these types of games. I’m just proud of the guys in the locker room.”
Rush to defend: Prior to the Oregon game, the Trojans were allowing 123.2 yards rushing per game. Against the Ducks, the Trojans allowed 426 rushing yards.
Rush to judgment: Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, who set a record for a USC opponent with 321 rushing yards, said, “USC’s a great team, and we knew it would be tough with Matt Barkley, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. We knew it would be a dog fight until the last whistle.”
Takes one to know one: On the Oregon offense, Marqise Lee said, “They have a great offense. That’s what happens when you play a great team. We still have three important games left. I want to play them again bad. I’d play them right now if I could.”
It’s offensive: Prior to the Oregon game, the Trojans were averaging 445.9 yards per game on offense. Against the Ducks, the Trojans had 615 total yards on offense.
From the enemy: Evaluating the Trojans' offense, Oregon linebacker Michael Clay said, “They have great athletes, and big explosion plays got them a lot of yards. We knew what we were coming into. With Barkley, Lee and Woods, that’s a juggernaut.”
Rush to judgment: The Trojans entered the Oregon game averaging 154.6 yards per game rushing. Against the Ducks, the Trojans gained 131 yards rushing.
The record: Marqise Lee, who had 157 receiving yards on 12 receptions, broke the Pac-12 record for kickoff return yards with 251.
Defensive scoring average: The Trojans defense allowed 62 points to Oregon. Prior to the Ducks game, the Trojans were allowing 19.5 points per game.
Pullard pontificates: Linebacker Hayes Pullard said of the Oregon offense, “They’re all about execution. When you do one thing, their offensive linemen know how to adjust. They read the linebackers and make adjustments during the play. As for their backs, they have great speed.”
Getting defensive?: The Trojans entered the game allowing 366.0 yards on defense. Against the Ducks, the Men of Troy allowed 730 total yards, a record for a USC opponent.
Linebacker take: Trojans redshirt freshman linebacker Anthony Sarao said the Oregon offense is special. “You really have to execute on defense against them. There is no room for error. They played exactly like they did on film. You just can’t worry about their running backs and their speed, but you can’t let their backs get to the edge. Their quarterback is the difference. He is really fast, too.
First time for everything: The first punt of the game was by the Trojans’ Kyle Negrete at 14:11 of the fourth quarter.
Tackling the issue: The Trojans' beleaguered defense was led by middle linebacker Lamar Dawson's 11 tackles.
T.J. evaluates: rojans safety T.J. McDonald said, “Nobody has put 62 points on us. Every time you take the field, you have to get a stop. Barner is tough. If you take a different angle, he adjusts and is that much quicker than you. He’s just better than he was last season.”
Passing fancy: Heading into the Oregon game, the Trojans were averaging 291.2 passing yards per game. Against the Ducks, the Trojans passed for 484 yards.
Big improvement: Prior to the Oregon game, the Trojans were averaging 84.6 penalty yards per game. Against the Ducks, the Trojans were penalized just three times for 25 yards.
Up next: The Trojans return home next Saturday for homecoming against Arizona State in a critical Pac-12 South Division showdown. Kickoff time has yet to be announced.