Marqise Lee was quick to make an impact and Silas Redd has led the USC running game to help the Trojans take a 21-14 in to the break against Oregon State.
USC’s offense has had some easy plays against an Oregon State defense that has been lost at times and lacks pursuit other times. Allowing Lee to break free in a wide open field on USC’s first play proved to be costly, to the tune of a 71-yard touchdown for an early lead. Redd leads USC with 85 rushing yards but Javorious Allen has stepped in to score twice on the ground.
Oregon State dug the 14-0 hole in the first quarter but wasted little time in storming back in the second quarter. Sean Mannion connected with Brandin Cooks for a 27-yard touchdown to get the home team on the scoreboard and then 14 seconds later Oregon State’s Ryan Murphy had intercepted a Cody Kessler pass and returned it down the right sideline for a 42-yard pick-six that needed to be upheld by a video review to determine if he had broken the goal line while in the air. He did, and the game was tied at 14-14.
Kessler and the Trojans kept their cool though and marched 75 yards in ten plays and capped the drive with the second touchdown run by Allen in the first half.
Oregon State’s offense may have been cracked last week by Stanford. USC’s defense has risen to the occasion so far, but must keep it going to hold off Oregon State’s potent offense after the break. USC was unable to do that against Arizona State earlier in the season, and Arizona made things interesting in the second half of a game as well. Oregon State is only down one score at home, but the offense has to start playing better against a solid USC defense.