USC vs. ASU Report Card: Grading the Trojan Offense


USC vs. ASU saw the Trojans unleash a powerful offense driven by big-time playmakers. As a result, the men of Troy came away with an easy 42-14 victory.

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Here’s how each offensive unit graded out against the Sun Devils:

A. It’s ironic that a game in which Cody Kessler turned the ball over twice still earns him a solid A grade. But that’s what the performance deserves. Kessler was cool as a cucumber in the face of an uber-aggressive ASU defense. He finished with 375 yards and five touchdowns. More importantly, he was 9-of-13 with 220 yards on third downs, generating seven conversions through the air.. Standout. Cody Kessler. QUARTERBACK

C. USC’s running backs were far from the focal point in Tempe, as the passing game took top billing. As such, there was little to be positive or negative about. Ronald Jones II led the group with 52 yards. His 22-yard run through traffic was the highlight of the night for the group. Justin Davis also offered a nice contribution to get a first down on a screen, spinning off a would-be tackler. When it comes down to it however, the running game did not generate much for the offense, totaling 80 yards.. Standout. Ronald Jones II. RUNNING BACK

Standout. Adoree' Jackson. RECEIVER. A+. For the first time this season the Trojans had two 100-yard receivers in a game. Adoree’ Jackson stole the show with his jaw-dropping yards after catch, taking one pass 80 yards for a touchdown on pure speed while slipping and sliding through the defense on another 45-yard gain. JuJu Smith nabbed two touchdowns in a more muted display than past games, though he still led the team in catches as usual. With Darreus Rogers sidelined, the Trojan receivers did not back down on continuing their commitment to great downfield blocking. Isaac Whitney sprang Steven Mitchell for a touchdown on a bubble screen while Mitchell made up for his mistake which led to an interception by making the key block to allow Jackson to score his first touchdown.

Zach Banner. OFFENSIVE LINE. D. The line did not do a terrible job dealing with the ASU pass rush, but they didn’t do a particularly good job either. Kessler was sacked three times, one of which resulted in a fumble. Meanwhile, in the ground game USC struggled to win battles up front, leaving the running backs little room to work with. Ultimately, the poor grade really comes down to penalties. The majority of USC’s ten flags were called on the line for various fouls ranging from chop blocks, holding and a host of false starts. Zach Banner was guilt of a few of those.. Standout

Clay Helton. COACHING. A. It’s hard to complain about the coaching of the Trojan offense when they score 42 points. Points aside, Clay Helton called an excellent game, allowing Kessler and the offense to negate the strengths of the ASU defense. A big part of USC’s success on third down was down to Helton dialing up the perfect call for Kessler to execute.. Standout

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

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