Rear View: Trojans lose quarterback, game in Corvallis
In preparation for Saturday’s game, USC altered its reservations and found a new location for lodging. And though the forecast called for unfriendly skies, Mother Nature smiled upon Troy, disallowing the elements to factor into the outcome. But despite shelter anew and sheltered skies, the curse lives on. Southern California lost its fifth consecutive game in the state of Oregon, falling 36-7 to the Beavers on a crisp autumn night.
Oregon State’s 29-point margin of victory is the widest against a USC team since the 38-6 final in the first game of the series played in 1914. With the Trojans struggling offensively, the team found itself trailing 20-0 late in the second quarter, then losing quarterback Matt Barkley just seconds before the break.
Barkley was sacked on USC’s final play of the first half, and he lay on the field with an apparent leg injury. After hobbling off with assistance, he returned to the sidelines in the second half on crutches and wearing a protective boot. The early diagnosis is a high ankle sprain that may keep him out at least seven days or could possibly end his season. Once the dust had settled at Reser Stadium, Marc Tyler (ankle), Chris Galippo (concussion), and Tyron Smith (knee) were also among the walking wounded.
After allowing 36 points to the Beavers, much of the blame is likely to be placed on the defense, but the 328 yards gained by Oregon State are the fewest since USC defeated Cal (245) in week 7. The 154 passing yards by Ryan Katz were the fewest allowed by a 2010 opponent. Two Trojan turnovers led to 14 Beaver points, which includes an interception thrown by Barkley that was returned for a touchdown.
The story of this game was the ineptness on offense, which allowed Mike Riley to play a game of field position. Oregon State started just one drive from inside its own thirty yard line, while seven began from the Beavers’ forty or more, including two inside Trojan territory. USC was 4 of 16 on third down conversion attempts, and 2 for 6 on fourth. It possessed the ball for only 27 minutes, and you can’t dictate the tempo or score points from the bench.
The Trojan offense committed two turnovers, and though it isn’t reflected as such on a stat sheet, four failed fourth down conversions are equivalent to the same. Jason Harfman punted 6 times, for a net average of 38 yards, and Joe Houston had no field goal attempts.
Pac’in it in
Stanford 48, Cal 14. The Cardinal snapped a two-game losing streak to their rivals in the “Big Game”. It did it by embarrassing Cal on its home field, which at one point trailed 45-0. With his team sitting at 10-1 and sitting in the top 10 of the polls, no coach in America would love a do-over with Oregon than Jim Harbaugh.