USC started the work of turning the season around with a much needed easy 35-7 win against Boston College. Here’s how each Trojan unit scored on the day:
The offense as a whole could not have been more improved from last week. It came down to mentality. The offense was geared towards getting the most out of the players and it made all the difference. Madden as the featured back carried the load beautifully, Cody Kessler as the game manager was everything you could hope for, and Marqise Lee finally got on the scoreboard by proving what a weapon he is in space.
Kessler proved why so many praised him throughout the fall by going 15/17 with 237 yards and two touchdowns. His only two incompletions were of the acceptable variety — long bombs to Marqise Lee. He looked exponentially more comfortable this week getting out of the pocket and on the run, but also showed much better pocket presence as his confidence grew. His calm under pressure allowed him to improvise and make plays the way Trojan fans hoped he would going into this season.
Lee broke through for an 80-yard touchdown but had a quick day otherwise with just two catches. Nelson Agholor stepped up this week with four catches while TEs Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble both benefited from the QB roll outs with two catches apiece.
Running backs: A-
Tre Madden is a joy to watch. He makes the right cuts, lowers his shoulder and never stops moving his feet. He tallied 102 yards and a touchdown on the ground while also getting involved in the passing game with three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown. However, his fumble near the USC goal line could have had disastrous results. Justin Davis also got in on the action with 96 yards and a touchdown on just ten carries.
Offensive line: C+
The line continues to excel in run blocking but they still have a lot of work to do in pass protection. Kessler was sacked just twice, but he also had to do a lot to avoid pressure throughout the game and his excellent passing numbers were more a testament to his ability to improvise than to the time afforded him in the pocket.
Continue on for a look at the defensive grades.