USC vs. Fresno State Report Card: Grading the Secondary


The USC Trojans repeated their demolition of Fresno State to start the 2014 season as Kevon Seymour and company asserted themselves in the secondary by shutting down the usually potent Bulldog passing attack.

Seymour was one of the standouts, breaking up three passes in the first appearance since his defensive MVP performance against Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

The pressure of living up to offseason expectations was heightened by Josh Shaw’s absence on the other side of the defense, but Seymour lived up to the hype.

Last season’s 1000-yard receiver Josh Harper was held without a reception in the first half with Seymour blanketing him.

By game’s end, Seymour had logged three tackles and three pass break ups including an endzone disruption.

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Of course Seymour wasn’t the only player in the secondary to put in a mouthwatering performance.

Redshirt senior safety Gerald Bowman left his mark with five tackles and an interception which was an inch away from being returned. With a caravan guiding him towards the endzone, Bowman drifted too far to the outside on his run down the sidelines.

In other circumstances the mistake could have been devastating, after all, Buck Allen fumbled two plays later. This time, we’ll let Bowman off with warning though.

In general USC got good production from all the safeties. Sophomore Su’a Cravens added three tackles and two pass break ups to the stat sheet while Leon McQuay II logged a tackle for loss to go with four total tackles.

Redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins and true freshman Adoree’ Jackson also looked promising in their debuts at cornerback.

As a unit, there isn’t much more you could ask for from the secondary. Brian Burrell and Brandon Connette were held to a combined 160 yards passing and 50% completion percentage.

To be sure, neither quarterback meets the bar that Derek Carr set during his time with the Bulldogs, but the defense shut down the passing attack and that is all you can really ask for.

Grade: A

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