Ducks Lose

Los Angeles, Calif. -- The Oregon Ducks dropped to 7-3, 4-3 in the Pac-10 race by losing to the USC Trojans 35-10. With the win the Trojans improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the Pac-10 plus kept their hopes alive of making another appearance in the BCS Championship game.

The second half again was a tale of futility for the Ducks as they forced USC to make its first punt. The ensuing Oregon possession moved the ball to the Trojan 3 but Oregon could only must 3 points on a Martinez field goal.

The Ducks managed to pick off a trick-play pass but promptly turned the ball over on a bad pitch from Dixon to Stewart. USC took advantage with another Washington touchdown and the Ducks trailed 21-3.

When the Ducks got the ball back after the kickoff, they went three and out and punted. The biggest cheer of the night came when the officials that there would be no media timeout after the exchange.

In one of the more obvious penalties, Jeremy Gibbs lost his composure and punched a USC lineman. The automatic first down and placement of the ball to the Oregon 48 was exactly what the Ducks did not need. The mistake even proved more costly as Chauncey Washington galloped 43 yards for another USC putting the game out of reach, and extinguishing any dreams the Ducks may have had of a special season by making the score 28-3 USC.

Brady Leaf came in relief with under a minute left in the third quarter and managed to move the ball quickly to USC's 22 starting from the Duck 20. Oregon was able to score on a 4th and goal at the but the play was reversed when the review officials said Stewart stepped out of bounds and came back in to catch the pass. The ball turned over to the Trojans on their own 7. Oregon then challenged the reversed decision. After several more minutes of review the first decision was reversed because the ball had been tipped by a USC defender and making it permissible for Stewart to come back in and catch the ball. The point after was even delay with a false start but Martinez connected cutting USC's lead to 28-10.

Leaf finished the night going 13-for-22, 104 yards and a touchdown.

The Achilles Heel the Ducks have suffered all season became apparent again in the fourth quarter as Washington broke off runs as he broke 100 yards rushing for only the second time in his career and ended the night with 119 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns.

Aided by a personal foul for a late hit the Trojans moved deep into Duck territory until Booty hit Jarrett with a touchdown strike, USC 35, Oregon 10.

The Ducks now must rally to play well in the last two weeks in order to salvage at least a shot at the Sun Bowl. While the Ducks played hard they were unable to finish drives and avoid turnovers and that is what finished off a frustrating night for Oregon.

Oregon ended the night with 358 yards of total offense (256 passing and 151 rushing) and USC finished with 343 yards (176 passing and 167 rushing). Oregon also was plagued with 12 penalties for minus 87 yards and USC was flagged seven times for 60 yards.

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