All the news, notes, numbers and some talk about trust after USC's 48-28 loss at Oregon Saturday

EUGENE, Ore. -- It shouldn't surprise us, of course, that USC's football players, a number of them, anyway, finished out the last few minutes of Saturday's 48-28 loss at Oregon, kidding around on the bench, jawing playfully with Duck fans and preparing to congratulate the victors -- many of them friends from high school.

And many, we might note, who grew up Trojan fans but were considered not quite USC material.

Only it's not as simple as that. What's not USC material, you note to yourself, might be some of the hangers-on along the USC sidelines, folks pulling down millions of dollars among them for doing who knows what for a program that's been allowed -- encouraged really -- to slide and by these same folks. Then there are those who are not here and not having to face the music on the field when they're the ones who took their eye off the ball.

It all stands in stark contrast to an Oregon program that has clearly righted itself in the face of the biggest challenge in the last decade. And sure, we can all make fun of how the Ducks are a football program in search of a university worthy of them. They are, of course.

Was Mark Helfrich the right guy when without quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. the Ducks got pasted three times in the early going? Well, he and his team and most of these fans seemed to think so.

Now it's easier to think that way when everybody here is on the same page asking the same question: What can we do to build and maintain the absolutely best football program for the University of Oregon?

It's really that simple. Unless you're USC and that question hasn't been asked in five years. And if you don't ask it you surely can't answer it no matter how much you pay the brain trust whose duty that should have been.

And so it comes down to this. A program without trust.

Who would you trust right now if you were one of these Trojans? One of the five head/interim coaches you've had in your time here if you're a senior or the four different O-line coaches or three different defensive coordinators and running backs coaches?

Who indeed?

Who would you trust, if you're a Trojan player, to get it right this week for the showdown against UCLA?

And as much as they like and respect Clay Helton, has he put this team on a season-ending glide path similar to those of his mentors Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian over this last month?

Sure, it's not Clay's staff and it's not his total team any more with all the injuries. But it's his weekly practice schedule that seems not to be translating at all to a confident team on Saturday able to play free and fast and with the confidence to execute the game plan and the discipline to do so without the mindless penalties?

And yes, we know this team could still finish up in the Rose Bowl. And become the nation's darlings again in just a couple of weeks. But not the way they're going about it now.

Clearly this has to change -- and right now. Saying over and over, as defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox did after Saturday's game that "We have to do that better," doesn't get it done. Doesn't begin to get it done.

Tell us something we don't know. For the last five years, we mostly could have said that about many of the parts of USC football. And as sure as these coaches look like they mostly won't be here unless next week goes better than expected, how do you trust the people they've been working for to get it right the week after next?

You can't. And yet, you may have no other choice. Just like these players this week. You have to trust someone -- and hope they get it right.

Injury report

Leon McQuay III didn't dress. he traveled and was going to be at best a gametime decision and that decision was no -- his MCL sprain needs another week at least . . . Juju Smith-Schuster turned his ankle when he had to leave the game but he came back quickly and didn't seem limited much at all after the game . . . Viane Talamaivao could have played, if needed O-line coach Bob Connelly said and will definitely be ready for UCLA next week with that meniscus tear . . . surprise injury announced before the game was the concussion suffered by Alex Wood a week ago at Colorado and the placekicker hadn't cleared his concussion protocol by gametime.


12 for 124, 4 for 42

Big penalty and yardage disparity with USC on the wrong end of those 12 for 124 and the Ducks down at the four for 42 number.


Clay Helton's record as interim coach in his two terms at USC.

34:54 to 25:06

Not that it mattered but USC's big advantage in time of possession closed up a bit in the second half but the Trojans still enojoyed nearly a 10-minute edge against the quick-hitting Ducks.

6 of 15, 2 of 8

Another big edge for USC that mattered not a whit: third-down conversions. Ducks didn't need them. And USC's six of 15 not all that great anyway. That's nine times they were faced with fourth-down conversions. Trojans one of three there.

7, 6 and 6

Career highs in catches for Steven Mitchel Jr. (7) and De'Quan Hampton (6) and finally a TD catch for Darreus Rogers. But the receiving number that jumps out here is also a six -- six different Duck receivers caught a TD pass for the first time in program history. And these were serious catches from 48, 52, 37, 30, 21 and 26 yards out. That's the way you throw the football around, not just dink and dunk stuff.

6 of 15, 2 of 8

Another big edge for USC that mattered not a whit: third-down conversions. Ducks didn't need them. And USC's six of 15 not all that great anyway. That's nine times they were faced with fourth-down conversions. Trojans one of three there.


0 for 0

USC didn't want field goals in this game and new kicker Matt Boermeester, in for the concussed Alex Wood, didn't get any chances. He was four for four on extra points, however.


When you complete 20 passes, it's not often you're going to average 20.4 yards a completion but Vernon Adams Jr. did just that against a broken USC secondary and a slow-starting pass rush.

28, 578

Not bad numbers for the Oregon offense -- 28 first downs and 578 yards total offense even though the Ducks don't exactly worry about first downs.


Justin Davis' game-high all-purpose yards -- a career-high 141 yards rushing on 16 carries (an 8.8 average) and another 24 receiving and 59 on kickoff returns.


Olajuwon Tucker's team-high nine tackles in his first start at inside linebacker. He had 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Nice job by Boodah.

59,094, 109

Largest home crowd of the year for the Ducks and the 109th straight sellout at Autzen.


OREGON COACH MARK HELFRICH on how the Ducks defense did: "They did a nice job. I thought we got lucky a couple times, but we continued to fight and made them really earn it there at the end, and take the long route for getting a touchdown. The sack [of Kessler with the fumble] was huge."

CLAY HELTON on where the USC defense didn't get it done: "We had the opportunity to get Vernon down a couple times and just didn’t get him on the ground. There’s only so long you can stay in man coverage and, you know, stay on those types of athletes for that long. We were in position to make some plays I thought, and we just didn’t make our plays and that’s something we’ll have to clean up this week before UCLA.”

CODY KESSLER on what this means for USC:“Obviously, it’s still there for us. That was our ultimate goal at the end of the season, but that doesn’t mean that we’re okay with today at all. This hurts just as bad as any other loss. That’s a very good football team, but so are we. I believe that. We’ve got to make our plays and we’ve got to play better. This one’s going to hurt today and tomorrow, but we’ve got to have a mindset to come in Monday and be ready to go. We’re playing to win the South. Guys are going to be excited about that and it’s going to be a great week of preparation, but it definitely hurts with any loss."

SU'A CRAVENS on the problems defending Adams: "“We let Vernon scramble a lot in the pocket. We knew all week that he was going to make plays on the fly. We let him get out of contain and he just threw the ball down the field. He made a lot of great throws. We were jumping in and out of gaps, and weren’t very disciplined in the run game. They got whatever they wanted in the first half.”

OREGON QB VERNON ADAMS on attacking the USC secondary: "“We just thought if we stuck to our techniques, our training, and listen to our coaches, we knew we would be good. I say it every week, I got to take care of the ball. That first quarter interception makes me so upset.”

OREGON WIDE RECEIVER Darren Carrington on what this game meant to him: "“I was a USC fan growing up. I’m from San Diego. We came to Oregon and we got it done. I was really hyped to play against USC. They didn’t recruit me and I was sad about that. I had some drive this week to show them it doesn’t matter where you go.”

ADOREE' JACKSON on the chance to play UCLA for the Pac-12 South title: "God just gave us another opportunity. It's a blessing."

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