USC vs. Oregon Report Card: Grading the Trojan Offense


USC vs. Oregon had the makings of a shootout, but the Trojan offense couldn’t deliver the necessary points, falling 48-28 in Eugene.

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

D. Once again, little about Cody Kessler’s stat line would suggest that he put in a poor performance. He finished with 238 yards on 30-of-41 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. However, in a contest which required big performances from important players, Kessler came up short. His yardage per passing attempt was a mere 5.8 yards. He forced throws into coverage, several of which were under thrown, and settled too often for dump offs and underneath passes when conversions required more yardage. The nail in the coffin for the Trojans was Kessler’s fumble, when he held the ball too long after a bad snap.. Standout. Cody Kessler. QUARTERBACK

Justin Davis. RUNNING BACK. B. Justin Davis had his finest outing as a Trojan with 145 yards on 16 carries along with three catches for 24 yards. In fact, Davis was the only consistent playmaker on offense for USC throughout the game. Ronald Jones’ weaving 12-yard touchdown run was a highlight but he did not seem to find his feet until late on.. Standout

JuJu Smith-Schuster. RECEIVER. C. JuJu Smith-Schuster led USC in receiving yards, though it was far from his most productive performance. Still, showing the toughness to stay in the game despite the broken hand, an ankle injury and a wrist problem was impressive. Unfortunately, he also dropped two key passes. Darreus Rogers made a leaping touchdown grab, but had a drop as well. Though Steven Mitchell had seven receptions and De’Quan Hampton had his greatest involvement, both were limited to paltry averages which ultimately didn’t have a large enough effect on the outcome.. Standout

OFFENSIVE LINE. F. The Oregon defensive line was able to shut down USC’s rushing attack for much of the first half, so while the 220 yards on the ground would suggest success in the game, the stat is misleading. There’s nothing misleading about the five sacks given up by the line, which was plagued with missed assignments and poor play. There were key penalties — Chad Wheeler’s personal foul being the most egregious — and bad snaps from Khaliel Rodgers hindered the offense throughout.. Standout. Chad Wheeler

Clay Helton. COACHING. F. Like the defense, the Trojan offense did not look prepared to play. Despite talk all week about avoiding another slow start, that’s exactly what USC did. Except this time the third quarter comeback was not enough Putting up 21 points on offense against the Ducks was never going to be enough either. Two fourth down decisions seal Helton’s failing grade. In the first quarter, the Trojans opted to go for it on fourth and nine from the Oregon 31 after lobbing up two straight deep balls into coverage rather than shortening the fourth down try. In the fourth quarter, with Oregon up 17, Helton decided to wave the white flag and punt, rather than attempt a fourth and three from the Trojan 39 to keep USC’s hopes alive.. Standout

What say you Trojan fans? Vote in the poll and let us know how you feel about the offensive performance during USC vs. Oregon in the comments below.

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