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NCAAF · 16 days ago

Oregon Ducks: Top 3 Takeaways From Week 11

TJ Inman

TJ Inman

Oregon Ducks: Top 3 Takeaways From Week 11

The Oregon Ducks handled the USC Trojans for a comfortable 36-27 victory Saturday night in Eugene.

What did we learn about the Oregon Ducks on Saturday?

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Bo Nix Rolled Against Weak Trojans Defense

USC fired defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, but the Trojans still have a weak defense. Bo Nix had an absolute field day, throwing for 412 yards with four touchdowns and taking care of the ball all night as his Ducks rolled to the win. Nix was efficient and in complete control, leading the offense on a 12-play, 85-yard touchdown drive to begin the second half, effectively ending the game. The Ducks controlled the ball for nearly seven minutes on that drive, and Nix was perfect, throwing nine completions on nine passes and ending the possession with a strike to Tez Johnson.

Penalties Continue to Be An Issue

The Oregon Ducks won this game comfortably, and the 13 penalties against them did not have an impact on the outcome. Still, the Ducks are penalized far too often, and the free yards they give up will cost them if not cleaned up moving forward. A team like Washington in the PAC-12 Championship Game or perhaps Oregon State to close the regular season or the opponent in the College Football Playoff semifinals will take advantage of the extra opportunities penalties would provide. For context, Michigan has been penalized only three times per game, the fewest in the country. Oregon is nearly the opposite, penalized 8.4 times per game, ranking them 130th in the nation. 

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Despite Injuries, Defense Does Well Enough

The Oregon Ducks limited USC’s offense to 379 yards, including only 2.9 yards per rush, and they kept Caleb Williams relatively in check. This success came despite some significant hits to the secondary, as three cornerbacks left the game with injuries. Among the injured was star corner Khyree Jackson. The best cornerback in the PAC-12 and a likely All-American, Jackson was also injured in the Washington game, and his absence played a role in the outcome. The injuries at cornerback likely won’t matter against Arizona State, but the Ducks will want those players back for Oregon State and potentially Washington. USC managed 6.3 yards per play but could not unload for many explosive plays, never really threatening the Ducks in the second half thanks to a solid performance from the Oregon defense.

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