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6-Points: USC 62, Cal 28

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The Trojans trounce Cal to setup a Coliseum showdown with Stanford.

Click here for the game recap.

Click here for the final stats.

Especially Special

nelson.jpgUSC tied an NCAA record with three punts returned for touchdowns, which highlighted an unprecedented performance by the Trojans on special teams.  "Tremendous job," said interim head coach Ed Orgeron.  "One of the better special teams performances that I have ever been apart of. Give credit to John Baxter and his coaches and all the guys that play special teams."  Nelson Agholor might as well collect his Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week award right now.  He broke Mike Garrett's USC single game punt return yardage record taking two to the house from 75 and 93 yards for a total of 168 yards. 

Buck Up

While Agholor averaged 32.2 yards per touch in the game, Buck Allen was right behind him at 27.4 yards per touch.  He carried the ball 6 times for 137 yards and a TD plus a 57-yard touchdown catch.  "Javorius Allen has always been a good running back," said C Marcus Martin. "Unfortunately, he just didn't get off to the right foot, but now he's showing up.  He's just doing what he's always had the ability to do.  It's just really Buck just believing in himself behind that big offensive line."

The Wrecking Ball

FB Soma Vainuku is a special teams demon.  Like the X-Men character "Juggernaut," he destroys everything in his path on kickoff return, and he blocked a punt today which Josh Shaw returned for a touchdown.  "I can't really claim it.  It for sure went underneath me or somewhere off the side," said Vainuku, who got a slight piece of the punt with his lower body.  Vainuku got advice from his brothers at an early age about how to make an impact on special teams, "'Whatever you do, make sure you go down there and hit somebody,'" they told him. "Kickoffs have always kind of been my thing."

Touchdown Ty

buck.jpgWith Silas Redd sidelined and Buck Allen being preserved for Stanford, freshman Ty Isaac seized his opportunity running for 87 yards on 11 carries including the first two touchdowns of his college career.  "It felt awesome," Isaac said about scoring.  "It felt like a long time coming.  The offensive line did a great job, and coach [Tommie] Robinson put me in good situations."  Redd and Tre Madden are uncertain for the Stanford game, so Isaac could play a big role behind Allen.  "I'm excited.  We're going to get out there this week and take care of business."

Starts Up Front

When a team runs for 8.8 yards per carry, the offensive line is doing the job.  "We eliminated the mistakes and penalties," said Orgeron about how the offensive line has improved. "I just think those guys made a decision, 'Hey let's go get this thing done.' And they're doing a good job of it."  Martin credits the coaches for the in-season development of this unit.  "We've moved into a phase in our offensive line play where penalties no longer trouble us because we are focused on the intricate details," said the captain.

Everybody Plays

"Everybody on our football team, I believe, that was eligible to play played today, so that was a tremendous deal," said Orgeron, who went to his backups in the third quarter.  Walk-on WR Robby Kolanz got his first catch, while RB John Akiba ran for 21 yards.  DL Joey Augello picked up three tackles, and DB Ryan Dillard got four tackles of his own.  "They are so important. They fight so hard every day.  I am happy for them and their families."

Extra Point...

Bring on the Cardinal

The Trojans took care of business, and now they get to host No. 5 Stanford under the Coliseum lights.  "We know what the task is at hand," said Orgeron.  "You cannot help but look forward to playing Stanford.  They are a great football team, but you know what, we are looking forward to the opportunity.  Our guys are jacked up and ready to go."


3 Comments

You forgot about Ty Isaac's 37 yard TD at end of youtube video, but otherwise great video and analysis.

We want all NINE TDs on the clip! LOL

Pat,(assuming he'd actually have time to read this),I'm sure with all of your experience you know when the timepiece is working perfectly.I't is not just confidence and execution,but a perfect balance that has now been achieved.I believe that Lane meant nothing but the best for SC,and yet I think he simply tried too hard and might have over analyzed.You know when something works, don't fix it, certainly works in this instance.Orgeron can now really lead with no inhibition.All of your coaches have really showed just how superb they are.Baxter has been stellar in special teams,Helton successfully creative in offensive play calling and Pendergast in defensive strategy great as well.It obviously helps to have the amazing amount of talent that USC has been blessed with.When it comes to football you want to always play to the highest possible standard 'cause of USC always doing just that.Please keep Orgeron on as head coach and these others as well.We don't need a stifling, stiff famous overqualified Bozo.We need exactly what we have right now. Thank you, Fight On, Rick

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