USC vs. Oregon State 2017: Studs and duds from the Trojans win

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images /
1 of 2
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images /

Saturday’s USC vs. Oregon State game saw the Trojans get back to their winning ways over the Beavers. Studs and duds looks at Week 6’s best and worst.

USC came into Saturday’s game against Oregon State with a lot of questions surrounding their offense. After defeating the Beavers 38-10 many of those questions unfortunately remain.

Despite another lackluster performance by the Trojan offense, USC still managed to put away the lowly Beavers and get back on the winning track.

Here’s a look at studs and duds from the victory:


The USC Defense

For much of the season, the USC defense has endured a lot of criticism for their performances. Though after six games into the season it is clear that the defense is the strongest of USC’s three phases. After being put in terrible positions by special team and offensive mistakes the Trojan defense bowed its neck and held the Beavers to only three points on those drives.

With great performances from perma-stud Uchenna Nwosu and every USC fan’s favorite defensive back Jack Jones, the Beavers only mustered 10 points total. The defense also held Oregon State to 3.4 yards a carry and only 6.8 yards per pass attempt.

The defense and coordinator Clancy Pendergast also deserve credit for staying stout, while rotating a lot the younger players in.

Tyler Vaughns

One of the wrinkles coming into this game was to find out if wide receiver Tyler Vaughns was for real. The redshirt freshman showed on the opening drive that he is in fact for real, capping it off with a 37-yard touchdown reception.

Vaughns finished with five catches for 68 yards and one touchdown and looked like the physical receiving threat USC has missed.

Unfortunately, some offensive miscues seemed cost Vaughns some opportunities as USC heavily rotated in this game.

Ronald Jones II

Ronald Jones II is the offensive MVP for the men of Troy in 2017. If he was in an offensive system that featured him, instead of one with pre-decided rotations, Jones II would be a Heisman Trophy candidate. His ability to find running lanes as well as run through tackles was on display once again Saturday against Oregon State.

Jones II finished with 12 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown as well as two catches for 17 yards.

While this was a game in which the Trojans made a concerted effort to rotate players in and out to stay healthy, Jones II made the most of his opportunities. If USC would trust their ground game a bit more this could have been a bigger day for Jones II, even with limited opportunities.

Honorable Mention:

The USC offensive line, though reconstructed did an excellent job opening running lanes for the Trojan backfield. Vorhees, Johnston, and Jackson all did a tremendous job with their assignments, while also doing a decent job protecting Darnold in the pocket.

Also, every time Jake Olson gets onto the field there will be a place for him on this list. Olson did another fantastic job snapping on the final extra point for USC while the normal long snapper was injured. Also kudos to Gary Anderson and the Beavers for being good sports about it.