Heisman contender Bo Nix led an aerial assault against the USC Trojans that could have been the deciding factor in the Oregon Ducks’ victory. He threw for 412 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 6 Ducks effectively eliminated Caleb Williams and the Trojans from Pac-12 title contention. Oregon took full advantage of being USC’s first game after firing defensive coordinator Alex Grinch following their loss to Washington last week. USC also dealt with multiple injuries at the linebacker and corner positions.
Photo Cred: Pro Football Network
The Ducks scored on their first possession of the game on a 77-yard strike to Tez Johnson. The Trojans quickly responded with a two-yard touchdown run from Marshawn Lloyd, but Oregon followed up with another long touchdown connection from Bo Nix to Troy Franklin for 83 yards. The Ducks would score another touchdown and a 33-yard field goal from Camden Lewis before Williams scored on a short keeper, making the game 22-14 at the half. Johnson secured another touchdown reception in the third, followed by a 19-yard Bucky Irving touchdown run early in the fourth to give the Ducks 36 for the game. The Trojans weren’t dead yet, as a nine-yard touchdown connection from Williams to Brenden Rice in the fourth brought the deficit down to just 15.
Photo Cred: USC
Austin Jones would follow that up with a 13-yard dash to the end zone to put the Trojans within single digits. Unfortunately for them, the two-point conversion failed with 3:44 remaining, and the Ducks held on for victory. Oregon coach Dan Lanning spoke on the Trojan’s late push after the game: “We knew they were dangerous and had the ability to come back, so I don’t think anybody felt relaxed. Disappointed with our finish because I think we’re a much better team than we showed down the stretch”.
Caleb Williams threw for 291 yards and had two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing. Tez Johnson led the Ducks in receptions with seven for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Budding star Troy Franklin won the yardage race with 147 yards on only two receptions and a touchdown. Bucky Irving, once again, led the Ducks on the ground with 119 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Oregon compiled 552 yards of total offense on the day.