EUGENE, ORE. Jeremiah Masoli and Oregon trampled the Southern California Trojans, leaving the kings of the Pac-10 in serious danger of relinquishing the throne they’ve held for the last seven seasons.
Masoli threw for 222 yards and a touchdown and ran for 164 more yards with another score, and the No. 10 Ducks pummeled No. 4 Southern California, 47-20, Saturday night, the Trojans’ worst loss in 12 years.
Red-shirt freshman LaMichael James ran for 183 yards and a score as the Ducks (7-1, 5-0) racked up 391 yards on the ground against the Trojans, who came into the game with the fifth-best rush defense in the nation, allowing an average of just 79.9 yards a game.
Southern California (6-2, 3-2) had not lost a game by more than a touchdown since a 27-16 loss to Notre Dame in 2001, Pete Carroll’s first season as Trojans coach. It was USC’s worst lost since a 35-7 defeat to Arizona State on Oct. 11, 1997, and the most points allowed by the Trojans in Carroll’s tenure.
Oregon remained alone in first and undefeated in the Pac-10. USC will need a small miracle to extend its run of seven consecutive Pac-10 titles.
Oregon fans were decked out in special black “Fright Night” T-shirts with a duck-and-crossbones motif to commemorate the Halloween night game — billed as the Pac-10’s biggest game of the season. Afterward the fans swarmed the field, while a ring of blue-jacketed security guards circled the goal posts.
It turned out to be a Fright Night for USC’s defense, which allowed 613 yards.
The Ducks have won seven straight games since an embarrassing 19-8 loss at Boise State in the opener, a game that got uglier when running back LeGarrette Blount punched a Broncos defensive end as he was leaving the field.
Blount was suspended for the season and Oregon moved on without him. James was his replacement.
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, who was at the game, said he planned to stay in Eugene to meet with Blount and school officials over possible reinstatement.
Scott says he’ll meet with Blount, Oregon counsel, university president Richard Lariviere, athletic director Mike Bellotti and coach Chip Kelly and members of his staff.
He says the university has not made formal moves to reinstate Blount and his role “completely depends on the university and whether they want the penalty revisited.”
The Trojans have lost four straight in the state of Oregon.
USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, who earlier this week predicted he would feed off Autzen’s deafening noise, completed 21 of 38 passes for 187 yards and two scores. He was intercepted once.
Masoli completed 19 of 31 for Oregon, which had never before scored as many points against the Trojans.