USC vs. Idaho Report Card: Grading the Trojan Offense


USC vs. Idaho was the one-sided affair most expected it to be, but did the Trojan offense meet their full potential in the Week 2 match up?

RELATED: 10 Best Season Opening Wins in USC Football History

Here’s how each offensive unit graded out against the Vandals.

QUARTERBACK. A. You could hardly ask for more from Cody Kessler, who improved upon his season opening performance in nearly every way. Though the Vandal pass rush is far less formidable, the quarterback did not allow himself to fall victim to unnecessary sacks. He also hit the deep ball with much more consistency, tossing long touchdowns to JuJu Smith and Isaac Whitney with near-perfect downfield accuracy. As a result, he set a career high for passing in a game with 410 yards.
. Standout. Cody Kessler

A+. The present and future of USC’s running back situation looked as bright as can be Saturday night.
Freshman tailback Ronald Jones displayed home run talent in only his second game as a Trojan by once again hitting the outside and burning by defenders late in the game before scoring a short touchdown to complete USC’s final drive.
Jones may have led USC in rushing but his veteran counterparts were stars in their own right. Justin Davis, in his return from an offseason rib injury, was bright to start the game. He scored both of the Trojans first two touchdowns and showed off his own big play ability on a 44-yard run.
Tre Madden did not hit the 100-yard mark in only seven carries on the night, but he landed in the endzone twice to make up for it.
. Standout. Justin Davis. RUNNING BACK

JuJu Smith-Schuster. RECEIVER. A. Where to begin when talking about USC’s receivers?
The obvious standout was JuJu Smith-Schuster, who set career marks for receptions and yardage against the Vandals in a display that delivered on his Week 1 promise to throw defensive backs around should they try to challenge him. Covered or uncovered, Smith-Schuster was unstoppable with 10 catches for 192 yards and two long touchdown receptions.
Of course, Smith Schuster was not alone in his success. Adoree’ Jackson was electric as ever, tallying 62 yards on four receptions. His Reggie Bush-esque run-right, cut-back left, cut-back-the-cut-back right was a highlight reel shoo-in.
Isaac Whitney also put his name on the scoreboard, while Darreus Rogers had just one catch but still made himself an asset as a key blocker.
. Standout

A. Maybe it was the different opposition. Maybe it was a new attitude. Either way, the Trojan offensive line scrubbed away the memories of five sacks given up in the first half of the season opener by putting on a much improved performance against Idaho. They were stout in pass protection and opened up big holes for the running backs to exploit in the ground game.
No complaints this week.
. Standout. Chad Wheeler. OFFENSIVE LINE

A. Though the odds of this being a slip up game for the Trojans were always slim, the example of Auburn and Jacksonville State shows just how close any team can come to an embarrassing loss against any opposition. Steve Sarkisian had his team ready to play when they came into the Coliseum and they left no doubt ahead of the Pac-12 opener next week.
Sark promised that they would work on Cody Kessler’s long ball during practice. Whatever they did clearly worked.
The offensive line needed sorting out, and it most certainly was.
. Standout. Steve Sarkisian. COACHING

What say you Trojan fans? Let us know how you feel about the offensive performance during USC vs. Arkansas State in the comments below and vote in the poll.

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