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Ducks not surprised over their dominance

EUGENE — Apparently, the only people not surprised by the dominant effort put forth by Oregon on Saturday in its 47-20 win against USC at Autzen Stadium were the Duck players themselves.

"We expected this," defensive end Will Tukuafu said. "Going into practice on Monday, this is how we practice. We expect this type of thing to happen ... We believe the outcome is going to be great."

It was certainly that for the 10th-ranked Ducks, who handed the No. 4 Trojans their worst loss in the Pete Carroll era at USC.

"I don't know if we made a statement, this is just what we planned on doing," Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli said. "If it makes a statement, it makes a statement. That's just Oregon football and how we roll."

The victory was the seventh straight for Oregon after its season-opening loss to Boise State.

"I guess when we lost that game people wrote us off," cornerback Talmadge Jackson said. "But there's 120 people in this locker room that believe we can do whatever we want to."

That's how it appeared to Carroll as well.

"It was a real mess for us tonight," the USC coach said. "Oregon did everything that they wanted to do."


MAKESHIFT LINE: Oregon had no trouble rushing the football against the best run-stopping defense in the league. And the Ducks did so with a reshuffled offensive line.

Oregon right guard Mark Asper missed his first start of the season because of a foot injury. To replace him, the Ducks moved left guard Carson York to right guard, left tackle Bo Thran to left guard and started sophomore Darrion Weems at left tackle.

Still, Oregon rushed for a season-high 391 yards, and tailback LaMichael James (183 yards) and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (164) recorded season bests as well.

James also set a UO freshman record for yards and tied the school record for freshman with his fifth 100-yard rushing game.


ESPN REGULARS: The ESPN College GameDay roadshow was in Eugene for the third time in the last three seasons and the fourth time overall.

And as usual, the live show drew a huge crowd.

Approximately 2,000 spectators showed up in the pre-dawn darkness Saturday morning to watch the three-man team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso do their weekly show from a stage set up in the parking lot of the Len Casanova Center, just in the shadow of Autzen Stadium.

"How could you count them in the dark?" Fowler joked after the show. "It's a very flattering thing because we've been here a few times now. We're starting to make this a regular stop on the tour. For a while, we got the complaint that we didn't come to the Pac-10 enough. But clearly this is the place to be. This is a proven environment. We know we're going to get a great atmosphere. I think it was a great showcase for Oregon. You could hear them for the first 45 minutes of the show (before) you could actually see them."

The fans got what they came for. Oregon coach Chip Kelly made a surprise cameo when he emerged from the GameDay bus wearing the Duck mascot head. When he removed the head, the crowd erupted.

"That was the first time ever, in the 14 years that I've been on the show, that a head a coach would be willing," to do that said Herbstreit. "We're happy if they'll come over and do an interview on the show, let alone put on a mascot head. I think that just speaks volumes about his approach and what he's doing here in Eugene. He really does a great job of not taking himself too seriously and at the same time having his team incredibly prepared. I think it was a lot of fun and brought a lot to the show."

Nike co-founder Phil Knight also made an appearance to make some picks on the day's games. To no surprise, he picked Oregon to win, as did Corso, who ended the show by putting on the Duck head, jumping on the back of the Oregon motorcycle and speeding off into the parking lot.


STAR GAZING: Among the numerous former players watching the game from the Oregon sideline were former Duck quarterbacks Dennis Dixon and Akili Smith.

Smith helped the Ducks beat the Trojans in 1998 with a game-winning, 62-yard touchdown run in a 17-13 win. Dixon's 2007 team beat USC 24-17 when the Ducks were ranked No. 5 and the Trojans No. 9.

"It was a great game, a great game," Dixon said Saturday night outside the Oregon locker room. "It brings back a lot of memories of 2007. It's a different atmosphere with a night game, but it was a great, great, great day."

Dixon, now a backup quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL, admitted he couldn't help but wish he had one more game playing in the Oregon offense.

"No question," he said. "I mean, Chip Kelly, there's no telling what he has under his sleeve. Things are rolling right now."