Nov 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans running back Justin Davis (22) is defended by UCLA Bruins linebacker Kenny Young (42) during an NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated UCLA 40-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
USC vs. UCLA saw the Trojans down the Bruins for the first time in four years, as the defense rebounded to restore the Victory Bell to a cardinal shade.
Here’s a look at who stood out in the 40-21 victory for all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons:
Who were the studs?
Adoree’ Jackson: Adoree’ Jackson himself had called his season less than he’d expected, but against the Bruins he was everything USC could hope for and more. Starting at safety for the first time in his career, he led USC in tackles and broke up two passes. On special teams, he launched USC into the lead late in the second quarter on his second punt return touchdown of the season. In doing so, Jackson proved himself more than worthy to be more than worthy of being a Paul Hornung Award finalist.
Justin Davis: In a losing effort last week, Justin Davis played his best game as a Trojan against Oregon. In a winning effort this week, he one-upped himself and proved himself as USC’s main man on offense. With 130 yards on 25 carries, Davis was given the opportunity to assert himself and the Trojan running game. He grabbed it by the horns, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Ronald Jones may have put his name in the record books by breaking Charles White’s freshman rushing record, but it was Davis’ day in the spotlight.
Rasheem Green: Throughout the season, the Trojans have gotten major contributions from true freshman on defense. This time around it was Rasheem Green making an impact by scooping and scoring a Rosen fumble in the third quarter. The timing of that turnover could not have been better either. UCLA had taken the lead in the third quarter and the USC offense looked lost. Green’s points sparked the fire which would see the Trojans score 20 points in the second half. And that wasn’t his only contribution. Green also took down Rosen later on, forcing him into a intentional grounding foul.
Iman Marshall: Josh Rosen had not thrown an interception in more than 200 passes coming into Saturday’s game. That streak spanned four games, but Iman Marshall cares not for streaks. The freshman cornerback continued USC’s defensive momentum after Green’s touchdown by picking off Rosen near midfield. Then, he effectively ended UCLA’s chances of an unlikely comeback by corralling yet another Rosen throw right into his chest midway through the fourth quarter. He also broke up two passes and logged four tackles.