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USC Football Lose To No. 6 Oregon, 36-27

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Bo Nix completed his pass for 412 yards and four touchdowns as No. 6 Oregon defeated USC Football 36-27 on Saturday night, holding off a late comeback.

Oregon’s offense totaled 552 yards, with Tez Johnson catching seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Ducks (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12, No. 6 CFP) had won four straight games and are unbeaten at home.

Caleb Williams ran for a score in addition to throwing for 291 yards and a touchdown. USC (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) won its first six games before dropping its final four.

With 3:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, Austin Jones scored on a 13-yard rush to pull the Trojans within 36-27, but USC was unable to draw closer as the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

The Trojans’ 52-42 loss to No. 5 Washington last weekend caused them to drop out of the AP’s Top 25 for the first time under head coach Lincoln Riley. Next weekend, USC plays its final game versus UCLA.

Oregon, led by Nix, is experiencing what may be its finest play of the year following a humiliating 36-33 loss to the Huskies on October 14. With 29 passing touchdowns and five scoring runs, Oregon’s fifth-year senior has elevated himself into the Heisman discussion. He’s had just two interceptions.

With a 78.1 completion percentage coming into the game, Nix was on track to surpass the 77.4 NCAA record established by Mac Jones at Alabama in 2021.

With two games remaining, against Arizona State next week and against rival Oregon State at home during Thanksgiving weekend, Oregon is only one loss behind the unbeaten Huskies in the conference standings.

It was USC’s first game following Alex Grinch’s dismissal as defensive coordinator on Sunday. The Trojans lost to the Huskies despite giving up 572 yards and 52 scores. For the remainder of the season, USC’s co-defensive coordinators were inside linebackers coach Brian Odom and defensive line coach Shaun Nua.

Injuries compounded the defensive problems. Cornerbacks Ceyair Wright and Jacobe Covington, nickelback Jaylin Smith, and linebacker Eric Gentry were not present.

Oregon scored during the game’s opening series. Johnson was discovered by Nix, who then flipped off a defender and raced down the field to catch a pass for 77 yards. Johnson scored two touchdowns and 12 receptions for 180 yards and the Ducks’ 63-19 victory over California last week.

MarShawn Lloyd responded for the Trojans with a 5-yard scoring run, and then Nix and Troy Franklin connected on an 83-yard touchdown reception. Nix connected with Terrance Ferguson for a 15-yard touchdown, his third of the game. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful.

The Camden Lewis extended the Ducks’ lead with a 33-yard field goal, but Williams gave the Trojans a 22-14 lead at the half with a 2-yard keeper.

In the third quarter, Johnson—who was adopted by Nix’s family as a teenager—added a 21-yard touchdown reception.

Running back Bucky Irving of Oregon looked to hurt his left ankle during the third quarter, but he was evaluated on the sidelines, came back, and scored a touchdown on a 19-yard rush early in the fourth quarter.

Franklin caught 147 yards and a touchdown on two catches. Irving ran for 118 yards in the end.

In the fourth quarter, Williams narrowed the deficit to 36-21 with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brenden Rice.

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