9USC
Oregon
17 - 24 Final
  for this game

Oregon uses running game, defense to outlast USC

Oct 28, 2007 - 1:10 AM EUGENE, Oregon (Ticker) -- Dennis Dixon and Oregon's high-powered offense have garnered most of the headlines this year. But it was the Ducks' defense that helped deliver a rare win against Southern California.

Dixon accounted for 233 yards of total offense and safety Matthew Harper had a pair of crucial interceptions Saturday to lead No. 5 Oregon to a 24-17 triumph over the ninth-ranked Trojans in a contest which indicated a shift of power in the Pac-10 Conference.

It was the third straight victory for Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10), which ended its three-game skid against USC (6-2, 3-2). The Ducks improved to just 16-36-2 all-time against the Trojans, who lost in this series for the first time since September 22, 2001.

The consensus preseason No. 1, USC has won at least a share of the Pac-10 title in each of the last five seasons. But after absorbing their second conference loss this month, the Trojans will be hard-pressed to retain their crown.

"This was a great win, simply because USC has been the flag-bearer for this conference for the last three years," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "I am very proud of our team, especially our defense. This was a defensive victory."

"We played championship defense," Harper added. "We didn't stop until the whistle blew, and that's how we won."

Entering with the nation's second-ranked offense, Oregon grinded out 182 yards on the ground and converted 9-of-16 third downs. Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart was outstanding against USC's third-ranked defense, rushing for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

But Oregon's defense stole the show in this one, forcing three turnovers while constantly pressuring Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez.

"Coach Aliotti (Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti) put together a tremendous game plan, and the kids executed it," Bellotti said. "I am very pleased with our secondary."

The clear star of the secondary was Harper, who recorded his second interception of the contest to seal the victory with nine seconds remaining. Sanchez had directed the Trojans to the Ducks' 33-yard line with 23 seconds remaining.

But with Oregon needing just one more defensive stop to enhance its bid for a national title, Harper stepped in front of an open USC receiver and returned the interception to midfield, prompting a wild celebration at a sold-out Autzen Stadium.

"I acted like I was going to play the outside receiver, went inside and just made the play," Harper said.

"They walked down the field on us, and we knew we couldn't let them do it again," Ducks defensive end Nick Reed added. "Then Harper made a big play."

Stewart gave Oregon the lead for good with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter, bruising his way up the middle for a 16-yard TD to make it 17-10.

The Trojans drove the ball to Oregon's 21-yard line on the ensuing drive, but Harper intercepted Sanchez on 2nd-and-1 to shift momentum back in the Ducks' favor.

Oregon capitalized on the turnover, as Dixon orchestrated a 10-play drive capped by Stewart's one-yard TD plunge that made it 24-10 with 11:39 left in the contest.

"We knew it was going to be a dogfight for four quarters," Dixon said. "We worked so hard in the offseason and during the season for this."

Sanchez hooked up with David Ausberry for a 14-yard scoring strike to draw USC within 24-17 with 4:44 remaining. But the Trojans came up short, leading coach Pete Carroll to credit Oregon's defensive effort.

"Oregon did a great job defensively," Carroll said. "We couldn't really get anything going and defensively they were a lot better than I anticipated."

Dixon completed 16-of-25 passes for 157 yards and also ran for 76 yards on 17 carries. His favorite target was Ed Dickson, who finished with five receptions for 69 yards.

"We have a lot of people stepping up," Dixon said. "We're working as a team, playing snap-by-snap."

"Dennis is more confident in the running game and the passing game," Bellotti said. "Our team is more confident in him, and I think that shows."

Sanchez overcame a sluggish first half to play well in his third career start. Filling in for the injured John David Booty, the redshirt sophomore went 26-for-41 for 277 yards and two scores.

Patrick Turner had a terrific game for the Trojans, hauling in seven catches for 107 yards and a third-quarter TD.






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    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Nov 16 3:09 AM
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    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 7:31 PM


  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    USC (9) 0 3 7 7 17
    OREGON (5) 7 3 7 7 24 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OREGON - TD, DENNIS DIXON 2 YD RUN (MATT
    EVENSEN KICK), 12:10. OREGON
    7-0
    2ND QUARTER: USC - FG, DAVID BUEHLER 30 YD, 4:33.
    OREGON 7-3
    OREGON - FG, MATT EVENSEN 41 YD, 14:45.
    OREGON 10-3
    3RD QUARTER: US

    Oct 27 6:14 PM
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    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 6:06 PM
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    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 6:05 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Ranked Teams (9 vs. 5), Close Finish)

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 6:02 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    DAVID AUSBERRY 19 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    USC (9) 17
    OREGON (5) 24 4:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 5:59 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 26 roots (Ranked Teams (9 vs. 5), Close Finish)

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 5:59 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OREGON
    JONATHAN STEWART 1 YD RUN
    (MATT EVENSEN KICK)
    USC (9) 10
    OREGON (5) 24 11:39 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 5:34 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    USC (9) 0 3 7 10
    OREGON (5) 7 3 7 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OREGON - TD, DENNIS DIXON 2 YD RUN (MATT
    EVENSEN KICK), 12:10. OREGON
    7-0
    2ND QUARTER: USC - FG, DAVID BUEHLER 30 YD, 4:33.
    OREGON 7-3
    OREGON - FG, MATT EVENSEN 41 YD, 14:45.
    OREGON 10-3

    Oct 27 5:26 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OREGON
    JONATHAN STEWART 16 YD RUN
    (MATT EVENSEN KICK)
    USC (9) 10
    OREGON (5) 17 5:25 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 5:15 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    PATRICK TURNER 9 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    USC (9) 10
    OREGON (5) 10 10:53 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 5:01 PM
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  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    USC (9) 0 3 3
    OREGON (5) 7 3 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OREGON - TD, DENNIS DIXON 2 YD RUN (MATT
    EVENSEN KICK), 12:10. OREGON
    7-0
    2ND QUARTER: USC - FG, DAVID BUEHLER 30 YD, 4:33.
    OREGON 7-3
    OREGON - FG, MATT EVENSEN 41 YD, 14:45.
    OREGON 10-3

    Oct 27 4:23 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG OREGON
    MATT EVENSEN 41 YD
    USC (9) 3
    OREGON (5) 10 0:15 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 4:21 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG USC
    DAVID BUEHLER 30 YD
    USC (9) 3
    OREGON (5) 7 10:27 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 3:52 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    USC (9) 0 0
    OREGON (5) 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OREGON - TD, DENNIS DIXON 2 YD RUN (MATT
    EVENSEN KICK), 12:10. OREGON
    7-0

    Oct 27 3:42 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD OREGON
    DENNIS DIXON 2 YD RUN
    (MATT EVENSEN KICK)
    USC (9) 0
    OREGON (5) 7 2:50 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    USC(9) vs. Oregon(5)Oct 27 3:35 PM
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