October 28, 2007

Notes on a scorecard: Ducks baste USC

EUGENE, Ore. - In the vaunted matchup of Oregon's rushing attack (which had averaged a PAC 10-best 294.4 yards per carry, entering Saturday) and USC's defense (which had allowed 64.2 yards per game), Oregon won.

Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon and running back Jonathan Stewart combined for 179 yards on 42 carries - a 4.26 average - in Saturday's 24-17 victory.

Oregon established dominance early, taking a 7-0 lead with a 13-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that included 11 rushes for 58 yards. Dixon capped the drive with a wide-open, two-yard scramble up the middle.

"I don't think they threw for very many yards today," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "But (Dixon) made a lot of things happen getting out of the pocket. We had guys covered, and we weren't able to get him down as quickly as we needed to."

Said linebacker Rey Maualuga, of defending Oregon's option offense: "Everyone was trying to take care of their responsibilities, not knowing if (Dixon) is going to run out, and everyone was 10-15 yards deep. He just takes the ball and rolls out. That's what killed us, basically."

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