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Oregon St. at USC at the Coliseum

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Taking on the Trojans in front of 90,000 of their fans is always a tough task!
Taking on the Trojans in front of 90,000 of their fans is always a tough task!

Oregon St. (3-0, 0-0) at #18 USC (2-1, 1-0) / LA Coliseum Stadium / 7:30 PM / ESPN / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM

Game Notes / USC Game Notes

Oregon St. opens their Pac-12 campaign with a visit to the L.A. Coliseum tonight to take on USC.

The Beavers haven't beat the Trojans in the Coliseum since 1960. They did come close, losing only 42-36, in their last visit, after scoring on their last 2 possessions. But then that was clear back in 2009, a result of the Pac-12 schedule rotation, which flipped the rotation, resulting in the last 2 meetings being in Reser, and the 2 year miss cycle of the Pac-12 schedule that alternates whether northwest teams play USC or UCLA.

This is also the last meeting between the Beavers and the Trojans during the regular season for a while, as they won't face each other next year or the year after, so this is the only appearance by Oregon St. in the Coliseum in what will be an 8 or 9 year span.

USC had lost 3 times in a row in Corvalliis, and 3 out of the last 5, before the Trojans took a solid to 31-14 win in last year's game, their first at Reser since the 2004 Fog Bowl, as Javorius Allen ran for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the now departed Silas Redd added another 140 rushing.

Generally though, USC has dominated the series, which dates back exactly a century, holding a 60-11-4 edge , including a run of 22 wins in a row in the Coliseum.

The Trojans come in off of a bye week, after losing 37-31 at Boston College, in a game that seemed to get away as the short-staffed USC team that had less than 60 scholarship players on the cross-country trip for a night game that saw conditions deteriorate seemed to run out of gas and depth, on both sides of the ball.

The Trojans have 2 true freshmen starting on the o-line, and struggled to establish the run, managing only 20 net yards on the ground, and worse, less than 50 before figuring in 5 sacks.

But the defense appeared unable to keep up as the night went on as well, as the Eagles rolled up over 500 yards of total offense, including 452 on the ground, on 54 carries.

Some rest, some extra time to prepare, and a more sizable amount of support should all help USC bounce back.

The Beavers answered an early San Diego St. touchdown to run off 28 unanswered points, and down the Aztecs 28-7 last week.

But Oregon St. suffered a significant loss in the process, when starting flanker WR & kick returner Victor Bolden suffered a dislocated finger that will keep him out of tonight's game. His direct backup, Rahmel Dockery subsequently suffered a hip pointer as well.

Dockery is expected back, but the depth chart for this week shows normal split end Richard Mullaney shifting over, as he did against the Aztecs, which means Jordan Villamin may make his first start at split end. With Hunter Jarmon making his second career start at slotback as well, it's a really inexperienced receiving corp, and that's before considering that Head Coach Mike Riley has also said he will elect to burn true freshman Xavier Hawkins's redshirt, and use him at flanker as well.

The game not only marks the return of Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley, a former USC assistant, to the Coliseum, but also the renewal of Riley's coaching rivalry with USC coach Steve Sarkisian. Though in his first year leading the Trojans, Sarkisian has beaten Riley the last 2 years, and 3 of the last 4, while the head coach at Washington.

Buildingthedam.com will be back after the game with coverage and analysis.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com