Oregon State vs. USC
November 3, 2018 at 7:05pm
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR: 35,817
Total Time: 3 hours 23 minutes
USC looked better after replacing Neil Callaway with Tim Drevno and Clay Helton calling the plays instead of Tee Martin. Does that mean USC played better or that Oregon State was worse than SC’s previous competition though?
For the record, Oregon State came into the game as one of the worst teams (if not the worst team) in the conference. They have given up an average of 48 points per game against FBS teams and an FBS worst average of 4.5 sacks allowed per game. Even if you remove the 77-31 loss to Ohio State, FBS teams still averaged 43 points against the Beavers, with the lowest scores being 34 (Colorado) and 35 (Arizona). That means that Trojans only put up an average-ish offensive performance against the Beavers.
Furthermore, snaps are still a sore point for the center and the defense was getting picked apart on slant routes. Oregon State repeatedly pulled within 7 and had the potential to tie it several times. I could probably go on about the negatives for a while, but let’s take a reprieve while we can.
John Houston’s well-timed tackle for a loss was one of the best plays of the game. He almost turned Oregon State’s handoff into a sack. The poor Beaver running back was probably mad that the QB handed it to him so that the loss got chalked up to the RB.
It was also good to see USC convert on short yardage plays like the quarterback sneak and fullback dives while playing under center. That was something completely non-existent under Martin’s playcalling. Seeing the offensive line get a push two to three yards downfield on most plays satisfied a weary soul. That allowed Aca’cedric Ware to get his first career 200-yard rushing game. No matter who you’re playing against, having a 200-yard and 100-yard rusher in the game is an accomplishment.
Devon Williams also played admirably, with a huge touchdown catch, in relief of the injured Michael Pittman.
On special teams, Michael Brown made a career long 46-yard field goal.
Defensively, the Beavers were held to -9 rushing yards in the first half. Halfway through the third, the Beavers were desperately trying to keep their rushing stats above 0.
Reminds me of something…
With the win, USC is 1 more away from bowl eligibility. Sadly, such a low standard could still be missed. None of the remaining opponents can be marked off as a win: a Cal team that beat Washington last week and played #10 Washington State tough, a rivalry game against UCLA that is playing better than their 2-7 record would suggest, and, the other rival, an undefeated #3 Notre Dame. Strangely enough, the Trojans could still find themselves with a Rose Bowl berth if they win out in conference play and things bounce their way. It’s a pretty wild situation when the Trojans could potentially enter the Rose Bowl with anything between a 7-6 and 9-4 record or have an 18-year worst record of 5-7. Realistically, I see them making a lower tier bowl like Vegas or Sun.
Misleading/Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: By the end of the first drive, USC earned 50% more third downs conversions than they did in the entire ASU game last week…which basically just means they had three in that first drive, beating out the two they got last week.
Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: Heading into the game, the Trojan defense only had 18 sacks in 8 games. They picked up 6 more this week.
Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: It’s not often that a team has more carries than yards, but Oregon State managed that with 32 and 31, respectively.