Oregon-USC Preview

Oct. 11, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The ninth-ranked Oregon Ducks try to prove they can win on the road as theyface USC in a crucial Pac-10 road game.

Oregon (4-1, 2-0 Pac-10) is tied with Arizona atop the Pac-10 after homevictories over top-10 foes UCLA and Washington. The Ducks downed then-No. 6Washington 23-16 on Sept. 30 at Autzen Stadium, extending their winning streakto 18 games, the longest active streak in the Pac-10.

Joey Harrington threw for a touchdown and ran for another as the Ducks wonthe game with ball control. Harrington kept Oregon's offense on the field fornearly 36 minutes and helped roll up 348 yards of total offense. Maurice Morrishad 152 of the Ducks' 229 rushing yards, helping Oregon to a 17-3 halftimelead.

'It gave us confidence,' Harrington said. 'We've been able to get a drivewhen we need to, and a score when we need to.'

But even with those impressive victories, conference championships are wonon the road. Oregon can match Arizona's road win at USC (3-2, 0-2) if itemerges victorious at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The Trojans fell out of the Top 25 with their 31-15 setback to Arizona onSaturday, commiting five turnovers. Carson Palmer threw for 321 yards and atouchdown but also was intercepted three times. USC was held to 10 rushingyards on 27 attempts, with tailback Sultan McCullough getting only 32 yards on13 carries.

'There is not a whole lot to say,' Trojans coach Paul Hackett said. 'Itwas the same scenario. We just didn't come out in the first quarter and playthe kind of football that we need to play. It's not complicated. We just needto play better. At this point in the season, there is no excuse for it.'

USC also needs to get its special teams in order. David Newbury missed twofield goals and had a PAT blocked in the first half, forcing Hackett to usebackup John Wall.

Oregon has won the last two meetings between the schools, but USC holds a33-13-2 lead in the all-time series. The Ducks outlasted the Trojans in tripleovertime last season, recording a 33-30 victory at Autzen Stadium. Josh Frankelkicked a game-winning field goal for Oregon, which won despite allowing 362passing yards to Palmer and Mike Van Raaphorst.

The teams also combined for 32 penatlies, including a conference-record 21by USC.

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