The top game in the PAC 12 Conference for week 12 of the 2011 college football season features two rivals with the 18th ranked USC Trojans (8-2) traveling to Eugene, OR to take on the 4th ranked Oregon Ducks (9-1) this Saturday night (8:00pm ET). The Trojans have won two straight going into the game, including a 40-17 home win over Washington last week in which they covered the 11 point line. Oregon is coming off of a big 53-30 road win over previously-undefeated Stanford to run their winning streak to nine games after starting the season with a 40-27 loss to current BCS number one LSU. USC is 6-4 ATS this season, while Oregon is 6-3-1 ATS.
USC features quarterback Matt Barkley (2,782 yards passing, 29 touchdowns and 6 interceptions this season), who has led the offense to 34.1 points per game (26th in the nation) and 444.7 yards per game of total offense (28th in the nation) on the strength of his right arm. The Trojan defense ranks 55th in the nation with 24.8 PPG allowed and 49th in total defense with 363.8 YPG allowed, but has been particularly tough to run on limiting opponents to 100.4 YPG, 8th best in the country. Oregon features one of the most prolific offensive units in the nation, ranking in the top ten in scoring with 46.7 PPG (3rd), total offense with 498.3 YPG (9th) and rushing offense with 291.8 YPG (5th). QB Darron Thomas (1,704 yards passing and 22 TDs) and running back LaMichael James (7.9 YPC, 12 TDs) lead the way for the Ducks. On defense Oregon has allowed 21.7 PPG (34th nationally) and 385.3 YPG (63rd in the nation).
USC vs. Oregon Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
USC Trojans +14.5
@Oregon Ducks -14.5
Over 67.5 (-110)
Under 67.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.com
USC vs. Oregon Pick:
USC is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games, 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games as a road underdog and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record. Oregon is 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games, 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 4-1-1 in their last 6 games as a favorite. The under is 4-1 in USC’s last 5 games in November and 5-2 in the Trojan’s last 7 road games. The over is 19-6-1 in the Ducks’ last 26 home games, 27-12-2 in their last 41 games as a favorite and 11-5 in their last 16 against a team with a winning record. In head-to-head play, the favorite is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings and the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between the two teams. Oregon has won three of the last four games against the Trojans outright, including last season by a score 53-32 in the Los Angeles Coliseum to cover the six point line.
With two very potent offenses on display Saturday night there should be quite a bit of scoring in Eugene. The Trojans have shown a strong run defense this season, but they have not faced a team the caliber of Oregon thus far. The Ducks torched them for 600 total yards, including 312 on the ground in last season’s blowout win and they return much of the same cast on offense this season. Barkely threw for 264 yards last season against Oregon, but had two interceptions and he figures to play better in this one. He could be without his top receiver in Robert Woods (92 receptions, 11 TDs) who has a lingering ankle injury. The trends strongly favor the over for Oregon, and the last two meetings between the teams have gone over. Oregon is not nearly as strong as they were on defense last season, and Barkley will play better against them even without Woods in the lineup. Take the over here as USC will have no choice but to try and keep up with Oregon’s fast-paced offense and need to score as many points as possible.