USC routed Cal 62-28 behind strong performances from the offense and special teams.
Stud: Buck Allen
There was no question yet again who the MVP for the Trojan offense was this week. Buck Allen ran away with the prize, literally.
On just six attempts, he racked up 135 yards and two touchdowns. He added a 57-yard touchdown catch on a screen, just because he could.
It was Allen who capped the early rout with a 43-yard scamper. Then, when Cal looked like they might make it a game by scoring 14 unanswered points, it was Allen who killed their momentum with the perfectly executed screen.
He capped things off with a 79-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Dud: Kevon Seymour
Kevon Seymour struggled for the second straight game. Against Oregon State, Beaver wide receiver Brandin Cooks routinely broke free from Seymour.
On Saturday, Seymour lost his footing on numerous occassions when the ball was thrown in his direction.
Seymour also appeared hesitant at times to attack an oncoming receiver who had possession of the ball.
Stud: Nelson Agholor
Nelson Agholor only had four catches for 35 yards on the day, but it was his work on special teams that was truly exceptional. He returned Cal’s punt 75 yards for the opening score.
He followed that up with a 93-yard punt return for another touchdown.
Agholor came close to breaking a punt return for a touchdown against Notre Dame, so to see him score two against the Bears was no surprise.
His 168 punt return yards set a USC single-game high.
Dud: Cal Special Teams
Fortunately for Cal, they didn’t score much when the game when is question.
Had they, it would’ve meant putting their kickoff team on the field, and if their punting unit is any indication, that wouldn’t have been good.
En route to allowing Agholor to return two punts for touchdowns, the Bears gave up 185 yards in punt returns.
14 of those yards came when a Cal punt was kicked off the back of a teammate, allowing Josh Shaw to turn it into a touchdown score.
Stud: Soma Vainuku
Soma Vainuku only caught one pass for 15 yards, but he was often in the thick of things when the Trojans ran the ball.
Vainuku threw a key block, which helped spring Allen down the right sideline for one of his touchdown runs. Vainuku gave great effort on the play as his first block came at the Bears’ 37 yard line and he followed it up with a final block at the 15.
Vainuku also applied pressure to Bears punter Cole Leininger, which likely caused him to send his line-drive punt straight into the back of a teammate at the line of scrimmage.
Dud: Cal Support
It was the Bears’ final home game for the season, thus it was dubbed “senior day.”
10 minutes prior to kickoff, large chunks of the stadium were empty. The main culprits of the empty seats were the students.
Yes, the Bears entered the day with a 1-8 record, but is that anyway to support the seniors who have dedicated four years to the team and university?
Apparently no longer interested in the game, during the fourth quarter the student section began chanting “play a different song” towards the Trojan marching band.
They followed that up by mocking the victory sign. With their team taking a shellacking on the scoreboard, perhaps the students felt as though they could win the battle in the stands.