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USC vs. Oregon: Ducks more than just explosive offense

Everyone knows the Ducks can score the ball, but their defense has been just as good this season.

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

All of the country knows how good the Oregon Ducks are on offense. Armed with some of the fastest players in the nation and a break-neck tempo, it's tough to contain their playmakers, let alone tackle them. And while the offense might get all the credit for their high national ranking, the defense has been equally good in 2012.

SB Nation's Oregon blog, Addicted to Quack, exchanged a couple of questions with Conquest Chronicles, SBN's USC blog. They take a look at just how good the defense has been this season, and also discussed how successful the Ducks have been against opponents in the red zone.

If you look at Bill Connelly's S&P+, which adjusts for garbage time and quality of opponents, its the #2 defense in the country, right behind Alabama and just ahead of LSU. The biggest difference between this defense and even just two or three years ago is that Oregon is recruiting a completely different caliber of athlete. [...]

And they are absolutely brutal in the red zone (opponents only come away with points on 55% of red zone possessions). But they now also have the size up front that you can't just go to a power game and wear them down.

Addicted to Quack also noted how good the secondary has been this season despite losing All-American safety John Boyett early in the year. This being said, UO is yet to see two receivers as good as Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, and it'll probably be their biggest challenge of the season.

Kickoff from L.A. is set for 4 p.m. PT on Saturday afternoon.