Week 12 College Football Picks: USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks, Pac-12 Conference Preview

USC Trojans at No. 4 Oregon Ducks
Saturday, 11/19/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Oregon -14.5
Current Betting Line:  Oregon -15
Opening Total:  66
Current Total:  67.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Oregon Ducks Running Back LaMichael James
The Oregon Ducks enter Saturday night on a nine-game winning streak

USC has won eight games for the 10th consecutive year and will travel on the road for the final time this season, seeking to revenge two consecutive losses to the Oregon Ducks, including a 53-32 defeat as six-point home underdogs last year.  “It’s a very challenging week.  They might be the hottest team in the country,” commented Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin.  “But the pressure is off, we’re going to go up there and have some fun.”  The program will be seeking its first win in the state of Oregon since the 2005 season, dropping five straight games.  USC is 6-3 ATS on the year and 8-8 ATS on the road the last two-plus campaigns.

The Trojans are coming off a dominating 40-17 win over the Washington Huskies as 11-point home favorites, led by quarterback Matt Barkley, who has thrown for 1,663 yards and 19 touchdowns since Oct. 1.  The junior ranks fourth in school history in passing and total offense.  Offensively, the team may be searching for a new leading weapon come Saturday, as star wide receiver Robert Woods is questionable to play due to lingering ankle and shoulder injuries.

Oregon has won nine games in a row since suffering a 40-27 season-opening loss to the LSU Tigers, out-gaining eight of 10 opponents on the year.  The Ducks have scored a combined 100 points in the last two meetings with the Trojans, while bringing in a 19-game conference win streak.  It’s important to note that quarterback Darron Thomas is a perfect 15-0 when starting under center for the program against conference foes.  Oregon is 15-9 ATS versus conference opponents and the ‘over’ is 17-8 in those contests.

The Ducks are extremely happy that starting running back LaMichael James has bounced back from an elbow injury, ranking first nationally in averaging 150.8 rushing yards per game, as he looks to build upon the 422 rushing yards and four touchdowns he’s tallied in two career games versus the Trojans.  Third-year head coach Chip Kelly has registered a perfect 7-0 mark when hosting a ranked opponent inside Autzen Stadium.

Bettors will likely back the Ducks due to the favorite being 6-1 ATS in this series, while the Trojans are 5-13 ATS following a spread victory.

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