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A true test for Oregon defense

11/19/2011

EUGENE, Ore. -- USC receiver Robert Woods is in uniform warming up and appears certain to play. And Oregon is in all-black.

It's cold here. It could be below freezing in the second half. The low tonight is supposed to be 29 degrees.

Maybe the Ducks' black uniforms will absorb heat from the lights? Or maybe the Ducks should turn off the lights so the USC players can't see them?

With Woods playing, USC should offer the Oregon defense the most talented, balanced attack it's seen this year.

What about Stanford? Well, the Cardinal's passing game was about Andrew Luck and smoke and mirrors. Stanford has been playing with a decided dearth of receivers.

Woods pairs with Marqise Lee to give the Trojans a playmaking pair. Cal had that with Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, but it didn't have the quarterback. USC has the quarterback.

And, of late, a running game with Curtis McNeal.

The big story at Stanford was the Ducks' defense. They'll have the home crowd helping tonight, but it's possible the Trojans will provide a truer measure of whether Oregon has built an A-list defense.