USC vs. UCLA: Who Were the Studs and Duds

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Nov 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass against the Southern California Trojans during an NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated UCLA 40-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who were the duds?

Josh Rosen: Josh Rosen has been an exceptional freshman quarterback, but his mistakes against USC cost UCLA the game. The Trojan defense flustered Rosen when they were able to get pressure, forcing two interceptions and fumble, which USC scored from. In the end, Rosen finished with 227 yards, a 51% completion rating and one touchdown to go along with those turnovers against a Trojan secondary which had just been torched by Oregon’s Vernon Adams.

USC’s First Quarter: Another game, another slow start for the Trojans. USC punted three times in the opening period and had to settle for a field goal after a long drive into the red zone. Meanwhile, the Trojan defense gave up a touchdown to UCLA’s Paul Perkins thanks to a badly missed tackle by middle linebacker Michael Hutchings.

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Pass Protection: Considering how effective the Trojan offensive line is at clearing the way for runners, the ineffective nature of the pass protection all season long and against UCLA is a bit of a head-scratcher. Though Cody Kessler was sacked just once by the Bruins, he was harassed and harried nearly every time he dropped back to pass. It’s a good thing USC was able to run the ball so well with a lead late, because having to throw to make up a deficit would have been a scary prospect.

Offensive Consistency: The USC offense generated three touchdowns in the end, but the inconsistency of that unit remains a concern, especially with another game to come. USC had six three-and-outs. One other drive was a four-and-out. When defense and special teams score touchdowns, those numbers can be papered over. But they won’t always be around to supply the spark.

Who were your studs and duds from USC vs. UCLA? Sound off in the comments below.