On a beautiful clear day in northern California, skies truly were blue for the Trojans as they thrashed the Cal Bears 62-28. There were concerns about an upset with USC’s eyes potentially focused down the way for Stanford. No such upset occured.
Here’s how the box score saw the wreckage:
|NET YARDS RUSHING||256||190|
|Average Per Rush||8.8||4.4|
|NET YARDS PASSING||243||293|
|Average Per Completion||14.3||7.9|
|TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS||499||483|
|Total offense plays||51||96|
|Average Gain Per Play||9.8||5.0|
|Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD||4-185-3||0-0-0|
|Average Per Return||46.2||0.0|
|Third-Down Conversions||5 of 9||6 of 17|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||0 of 0||1 of 4|
Despite the lopsided score, the Trojans only outgained the Bears by 16 total yards. USC easily won the rushing battle on the back of big performances from Buck Allen and Ty Isaac, who benefited with extra touches due to the blow out and from Silas Redd’s knee injury. The Bears netted more passing yards, but the Trojans held a significant in yards per completion.
On defense USC’s Clancy Pendergast will want to address Cal’s 30 completed first downs as well as their 28 offensive points, including three passing touchdowns.
In positive news, the Trojans continue to improve their third down conversion numbers, with 55% this week. Also notable, Trojan special teams came out swinging, logging three punt return touchdowns, two from Nelson Agholor and one on a block.
Knuck If You Buck
Javorius “Buck” Allen stole the show again this week, piling up 135 yards on just six carries. Two of those went for touchdowns, the final for a long 79 yards. His 22.5 yard average on the day says it all.Silas Redd saw limited action after tweaking his knee while hurdling a defender. In his stead, Ty Isaac stepped up for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The game was such a blow out, that even walk-on running back John Akiba saw action and averaged 5.2 yards himself.
Return of the Two-Quarterback System…Sort Of
Yes, both Cody Kessler and Max Wittek saw time in the game, but this time it was under much better circumstances than the first two games of the season. Kessler was efficient with 170 yards and an 82% completion rating, but for the first time in five games he failed to hit the 200 yard mark.
Wittek filled in to close out the game and did exactly what was asked of him.
Everyone In The Mix
There were no big standouts in the receiving corp this week, though there was a nice amount of involvement from just about every position. Agholor and De’Von Flournoy led the team in receptions and yards respectively, with the latter continuing to take hold of his opportunities this season. Xavier Grimble made his way back onto the field after absence due to injury. Meanwhile, both passing touchdowns were scored by running backs on perfectly executed screens. Soma Vainuku got in on the action at fullback and walk-on Robby Kolanz even caught a three yard pass late in the game.
Interestingly, Marqise Lee saw limited time. Whether or not that was a decision with an eye on keeping him fresh for Stanford remains to be seen.
Back Up Bash
|22||McQuay III, Leon||3||2||5||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.|
The list of defensive players who logged stats this week is particularly long. That’s because every single man on USC’s squad got into the game. Leading the way was Jabari Ruffin, who was called into action to because Morgan Breslin and Leonard Williams were both absent. Quinton Powell and Michael Hutchings are other notable back up who saw significant time.
The Trojans only came away with two sacks, one from Devon Kennard and one from Charles Burks, another back up. However, they got into the backfield plenty often with seven tackles for loss.