LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenjon Barner rushed for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns, Marcus Mariota threw four TD passes, and No. 2 Oregon produced another landmark offensive performance in a 62-51 victory over No. 18 Southern California on Saturday night.
Josh Huff caught two touchdowns, and De’Anthony Thomas and Daryl Hawkins also caught scoring passes for the Ducks (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12), who outlasted USC in a back-and-forth second half to extend their winning streak to 12 games since the Trojans (6-3, 4-3) won in Eugene last season.
Oregon’s 730 yards and 62 points were the most ever allowed by USC, which began playing football in 1888.
Barner set a rushing record for a USC opponent by the third quarter, topping Curtis Enis’ 241 yards for Penn State in 1996, and smashed the school record shortly afterward as the Ducks gradually pulled away in their closest game of the year.
Matt Barkley passed for 484 yards and four touchdowns while hitting Marqise Lee with 12 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans, who have lost two straight after a 6-1 start.
The preseason No. 1 team hit a defensive nadir not even matched during Pete Carroll’s final season in 2009, when several opponents destroyed the Trojans’ defense.
Barner has already roared past Barkley in the Heisman Trophy race, and the product of Riverside, Calif., thoroughly entertained his friends and family members at the Coliseum with another dominant ground performance, capped by enthusiastic celebrations of every touchdown.
Mariota also carved up the Trojans for 304 yards passing, going 20 for 23 without an interception and rushing for another 96 yards.
USC’s defense harassed Darron Thomas into a sub-par performance in this matchup last season, but the freshman who has replaced him showed absolutely no nerves in the historic stadium while playing against the team expected to be Oregon’s biggest obstacle in Pac-12 play.
Oregon, which is likely to move up in the BCS standings after this win and Notre Dame’s narrow victory, had won every game this season by at least 17 points. USC’s offense did its part, scoring more points and gaining more yards (615) than Oregon had allowed all year.
The Trojans’ defense simply couldn’t keep up with Oregon’s relentless pace and precision. Oregon took a 21-3 lead 12 seconds into the second quarter, but Barkley threw TD passes of 75 yards to Lee and 76 yards to Nelson Agholor in the second quarter.
Robert Woods also caught a scoring pass. The Trojans twice pulled within three points in the second half, but Barner was viciously effective on almost every drive.
Randall Telfer caught a short TD pass with 5:27 to play, and USC narrowly missed recovering an onside kick. Barkley had one more chance to drive, but turned it over on downs with 3 minutes left. Agholor had six catches for 162 yards, and Silas Redd rushed for 92 yards and two TDs.
The Trojans’ 38-35 win in Eugene last November was arguably the highlight of Barkley’s four-year career, snapping the Ducks’ 21-game home winning streak and 19-game conference streak while knocking Oregon out of the national championship race. But USC got off to a fast start at Autzen Stadium in that shocker, and the Ducks were much quicker in the rematch at the Coliseum.
In fact, the Ducks needed just 65 seconds to take the lead, with Thomas’ 16-yard TD reception capping a five-play drive while the late-arriving part of the sellout crowd filed into the Coliseum.
Oregon’s second 75-yard TD drive of the first quarter required 3:11, but Huff finished it with a 21-yard TD catch.
The Trojans were reeling after Mariota orchestrated an 80-yard drive ending in Barner’s 27-yard TD run on the second snap of the second quarter, but Barkley uncorked a 75-yard throw to Lee in stride for a score on the next snap from scrimmage.
Barkley also hit Woods and Agholor for scores in the final minutes before halftime to keep the lead down to 34-24.
The Ducks gained 460 yards in the first half, yet weren’t in control. Redd’s first TD trimmed the Ducks’ lead to three points, but Oregon converted two fourth downs on their next drive, ending in Barner’s third TD.
Lee returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards, setting up Redd’s second TD run.