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Oregon defeats USC 48-28, moves one step closer to Pac-12 title game

The Ducks kept their Rose Bowl hopes alive with a big win over USC at Autzen Stadium.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

On a bitter fall afternoon in Eugene, the end result was anything but. The No. 23 Oregon Ducks took care of business, defeating the No. 22 USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium.

Vernon Adams was on his A-game, completing 20 of 25 passes for 407 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. His six touchdowns were thrown to six different receivers.

Through the air, Bralon Addison led the way for the Ducks, catching five passes for 105 yards and one touchdown. Other Oregon receivers who also scored a touchdown included Daren Carrington, Evan Baylis, Dwayne Stanford, Keni Benoit and Charles Nelson.

Royce Freeman, who was recently named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, carried the ball 20 times for 147 yards. Freeman is now just 108 yards shy of the 1,500 yard mark for the season.

On Oregon's first drive of the afternoon, the Ducks drove down the field before Vernon Adams threw what would be his only interception of the day. He recovered nicely, tossing a 48-yard touchdown pass to Bralon Addison to put Oregon up 7-0.

The Trojans and Ducks went back and forth trading touchdowns for the rest of the quarter as it was tied 14-14 through 15 minutes.

Oregon began to pull away in the second quarter. Adams hit Darren Carrington for a 37-yard touchdown pass to give the Ducks a 21-14 lead, one which they wouldn't surrender for the rest of the game. On Oregon's next drive, Adams hit Kani Benoit for a 30-yard touchdown pass.

By the time USC scored their next touchdown, a 12-yard touchdown by Ronald Jones, Oregon had already built a 38-14 lead early in the third quarter.

USC had a chance to make it a one score game when they trailed 38-28, but Arrion Springs sacked Cody Kessler, forcing the Trojans quarterback to cough up the ball. That turnover killed any final hopes of a USC comeback. On the ensuing drive, Adams tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Charles Nelson to put the icing on the win.

The Ducks now turn their attention to the Big Game tonight between Stanford and California. If Cal is able to pull the upset and hand the Cardinal their second consecutive loss, the Ducks just need to beat Oregon State next weekend to earn a trip to the Pac-12 title game. But if Stanford beats Cal, then none of that matters.

Roll on you Bears.