Having heard the Trojan fans loud and clear last week when they erupted in boos over so many bubble screens, Lane Kiffin shook things up against the Boston College Eagles and drew up a long play-action bomb to Marqise Lee, and the Coliseum crowd cheered loudly. Cody Kessler overthrew Lee for an incompletion, but the fact that Kiffin deviated from the norm seemed to make the fans happy.
The Trojans went three-and-out on their first drive, but they hinted that this week, they intend to play things a little differently.
After shuffling the Eagles off the field on offense, Kessler executed a 14-play, 86-yard scoring drive for the Trojans. Not only did he squeeze in a first-down gaining pass to wide receiver De’Von Flournoy, he also showed that he can make decisions under pressure. He dumped it off to running back Tre Madden from five yards out, who then trotted into the endzone to put USC up early over the Eagles.
With new found confidence and a gameplan that actually caters to his strengths, Kessler showed glimpses of what he can do as USC’s new offensive leader.
After the score, the Trojan defense took the field and put tremendous pressure on Chase Rettig and the Eagles. Defensive end Morgan Breslin dragged him down for a sack (USC’s 12 of the season), and the Trojan defense did what it does best–forced a three-and-out.
Kessler hit tight end Xavier Grimble for a 20-yard gain to end the first quarter. USC, after getting embarrassed at home a week ago, is showing that the offense indeed has a pulse, and can be effective if executed properly.