With limited receiving options available, Cody Kessler still managed to connect on 21 of his 32 pass attempts for 230 yards. Kessler only threw for one touchdown, but he routinely found the open man.
If there was a negative to Kessler’s day, he hasn’t completely rid himself of the tendency to hold onto the ball for too long.
Kessler’s stats weren’t overwhelming, but considering the circumstances he was playing under, he certainly earned himself an A.
Running backs: C
Playing without Justin Davis, Tre Madden and Silas Redd failed to provide the one-two punch the Trojans needed. Some of that can be attributed to the porous play from the offensive line.
USC netted 30 rushing yards thanks in part to Kessler’s sacks. Without counting the sacks taken, USC only managed to run for 74 yards. Madden was the only player in double digits with 63 yards.
With Marqise Lee, Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer, and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick all out because of injury, Nelson Agholor and Darreus Rogers stepped up to fill the void.
Agholor and Rogers combined for 159 receiving yards, and Agholor had the Trojans lone touchdown.
Like the running backs, the receivers didn’t put up flashy stats, but they were effective.
Offensive line: D
The offensive line surrendered five sacks, and Kessler was under duress for much of the game. They failed to supply much push up front and open rushing lanes were few and far between.
Some of the struggles can be attributed to another starter exiting the game because of an injury. This time, Kevin Graf was the next Trojan to go down.
On a positive note, the holding penalties subsided. For one game, at least.