After last Saturday's run-happy offense in Lincoln, the Trojans came out slangin'. John David Booty played extremely well completing 10 of 11 passes to start the game. He finished with 279 yards and 4 TDs, completing 80% of his passes. Booty's favorite target on the night was Ocho Tres, Fred Davis. Davis hauled in 9 catches for 124 yards and 2 TDs. Davis finally showed the ability to run after the catch. USC's longest play from scrimmage came on a pass play to Davis up the middle of the field. Davis bounced to the outside and hurdled a defender to pick up 25 yards. Davis was named the Player of the Game and had one excited fan yelling, "OCHO TRES! HE'S LIKE 7-ELEVEN BABY, OPEN ALL THE TIME!"
Chauncey Washington started the game at tailback and looked just as impressive as he had throughout fall camp. Washington appears to be not only our toughest back, but also the fastest. C-Dub has burst out of the backfield that I have yet to see from Stafon and C.J. Gable. Chauncey would have had a field day against Nebraska with those gaping holes. Washington finished the night with 11 carries for 84 yards (7.6 YPC) and a touchdown. Here's how the football was distributed amongst the running backs...
- 11 Chauncey Washington
- 9 Stafon Johnson
- 7 Joe McKnight
- 4 Hershel Dennis
- 1 Stanley Havili
- 1 C.J. Gable
The defense shut down the Cougars high powered spread offense, holding the Cougars to only 3.5 yards per play. Keith Rivers, Thomas Williams, and Clay Matthew's highlighted the Trojan defense that gave up only 64 yards rushing and 183 yards passing. Keith Rivers was all over the field on Saturday and lead the team with 14 tackles, 2.5 for loss. Thomas Williams and Clay Matthews filled in nicely for the injured LB Brian Cushing (who appeared to re-injure his ankle in the game). Thomas Williams made great plays both on defense and special teams. Clay Matthews displayed great quickness and was always in the right spot at the right time. Matthews, however, did appear to have some problems wrapping up opposing players with his broken thumb on one or two plays. Kyle Moore recorded his second interception in consecutive weeks and leads the Trojan defense in takeaways.
- Joe McKnight looked light-years better running the ball compared to the first two games. He actually ran forward. Wow. He also looked good on a punt return that he returned 37 yards. Unfortunately a penalty brought the ball back.
- Terrell Thomas sucks. I don't know how else to put it. He's constantly getting turned around by receivers. He can't make open field tackles. He's the only defensive player that I've ever seen tackle a lead blocker!?! As the senior leader of the defense backs he really needs to step his game up.
- Cary Harris walked of the field holding his right arm and appeared to have injured his shoulder. Shareece Wright and Moziqu McCurtis filled in for Harris.
- Hersh is back! The crowd cheered when Hershel Dennis came into the game midway through the 4th quarter. He carried the ball 4 times for 14 yards. However, those stats don't include a 5 yard touchdown run that was eradicated on a illegal formation penalty. Dennis looked quick and I'm interested to see how he fits into the tailback rotation.
- Patrick Turner recovered from a dismal performance in Lincoln to record 6 catches for 64 yards. Turner still needs to learn to play with a little more toughness. Booty's lone interception came on a pass play to PT. The ball was thrown behind Turner but it appeared as though he was able to get his hands on the ball. Turner, however, put up very little fight and the ball as taken away by WSU's Husain Abdullah. No heart.
- Freshmen Christian Tupou and Marshall Jones both played in the 4th quarter, blowing their opportunity to redshirt. With the injuries to Kevin Thomas, Josh Pinkard, and now Cary Harris I can understand why it was important to get Marshall Jones some playing time. But I have no idea why Christian was is in the game. I saw him on the field during the t.v. timeout and scratched my head as the ball was hiked on the next play.
- Tim Floyd and the Trojan's basketball team made an appearance during the game. I started chanting "OJ MAYO!" during a t.v. timeout when I spotted Mayo on the sideline. Apparently I was the only one that noticed him as everyone around me just stared and kindly informed me, "Wrong Sport!"
- Our offense has yet to complete a pass down field. Our longest play against a WSU came on an 8-10 yard pass that Davis took for 25 yards. In last weeks game against Nebraska, Booty attempted two deep passes to Ronald Johnson that fell incomplete. ROJO played a lot against WSU and I was almost certain that Sarkisian was setting the defense up for a deep pass to ROJO. I was wrong.I'm excited about this guy and really want to see him get involved in the passing game. As you can see, Carroll shares my enthusiasm.
- After the game John David Booty admitted that he was a big LSU fan on ABC's Sports Zone. Somethings you should just keep to yourself.
Check out the condensed game provided by ESPN.