(PHOTO) Oregon Ducks linebacker Joe Walker (35) is congratulated by linebacker Rodney Hardrick (48) and linebacker Torrodney Prevot (86) for a defensive stop on a two-point conversion during the fourth quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. The Ducks defeated the Cardinal 38-36. (Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Oregon is fresh off a signature win over Stanford last week, in which Ducks knocked the Cardinal out of any hope of playing in the NCAA Playoff, plus kept Oregon in the hunt for a possible return trip to the Pac-12 Championship game in December.
A hangover effect is when a team or players are so drained from a big win (or loss) that they fail to perform up to standard in the following game. Helfrich believes his team has moved on from the big win over Stanford and will be excited to play USC.
Oregon won the conference championship last year by beating Arizona, 51-13. The win over the Wildcats avenged an early loss in the season and put the Ducks into the NCAA Playoffs.
This season Oregon had struggled early on with losses to Utah and Washington State, but went on a four-game win streak, culminated by the victory over the No. 7 Stanford team, 38-36 at Stanford Stadium. The win put Oregon back among the elite 25 teams of the country but more importantly kept the hopes of a chance at repeating as conference champs.
This week the Ducks face another team in control of its own destiny, USC, who defeated Colorado 27-24, an identical record to Oregon, 7-3 for the season and 5-2 in conference play. Oregon has to defeat the Trojans and Oregon State the following week, plus needs California to knock off Stanford this Saturday if they are to make it as the Pac-12 North’s representative in the championship game. Meanwhile USC could possibly lose to Oregon yet defeat UCLA in order to be the South’s rep.
Kickoff for the Oregon-USC match up is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Pacific and the game will be carried live on ESPN.