USC vs. Arkansas State: Who Were the Studs and Duds?

2 of 2

Sep 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow (95) tackles Arkansas Red Wolves quarterback Fredi Knighten (9) at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who were the duds?

Offensive Line: Bob Connelly’s debut as the offensive line coach at USC did not exactly go to plan. Yes, the Trojans were facing an aggressive Arkansas State defense front, but conceding five sacks in the first half would be unacceptable against even a Pac-12 level pass rush. In a 55-6 drubbing, there are usually no real concerns for the winning side. For USC, however, the overriding storyline by the end of the contest was the underwhelming performance of a line littered with elite level talent.

Adoree’ Jackson: Unfortunately for Jackson and all the fans at the Coliseum, the three-way star came up lame early in the game on a punt return and could not return. Diagnosed with an abdominal strain, Jackson missed the entirely of the second half. That means the crowd was denied the chance to see his electric plays on both sides of the ball, and in addition to getting no answers about the distribution of his touches this season, fan now are left wondering how long the injury will keep him out.

Fredi Knighten: The Red Wolf quarterback was the key to Arkansas State’s victory. So the scoreboard says it all really. Knighten went 8-for-23 with just 86 yards passing and two interceptions to his name. Though he found more success on the ground with 58 yards rushing, there was no great sense of danger their either. As a result A-State was thoroughly shut down by the Trojan defense, which held them to just six points. To put that in perspective, Knighten’s Red Wolves’ lowest scoring total from last season was 19 against Tennessee.

Pac-12 Network/DirecTV: Despite the illusion of progress for a deal that would bring the Pac-12 Network to DirecTV in time for kick off, it was not to be. Trojan DirecTV subscribers were denied access to the season opener, though the big winners were probably bars in the Los Angeles area who carry the network.

More from Reign of Troy