USC came into Corvallis Saturday night looking to right the ship after some midseason turmoil. The Beavers got the ball to start and had to punt after failing to convert on 3rd and short. USC got the ball and immediately got to work rushing the ball for consistent gains against the Oregon State defense. USC’s opening drive was ominous as they used 17 plays to march 87 yards for a rushing touchdown.
The Beavers with Jake Luton under center were moving the ball, but the offense surprisingly could not develop any type of offense on the ground. Jermar Jefferson managed just 58 yards on 18 carries, as running lanes were scarce against the Trojan defense. Things looked bleak for the Beavers down 21-7, but an impressive 2-minute drill drive before the half helped close the gap 21-14 and Oregon State looked to be in business.
In the second half Oregon State never really regained that momentum on offense. The defense had it’s bright spots. They forced a number of punts and even forced a nice fumble that should have resulted in a defensive touchdown if the Pac-12 refs hadn’t blown the play dead. Overall the Oregon State defense struggled to stop USC’s rushing attack which has been underwhelming for most the season. 38 points and 332 rushing yards later USC found themselves with a comfortable victory in Reser Stadium and it looks like Clay Helton’s job is safe for another week.
Jake Luton is definitely the best quarterback on the roster in my opinion. It looked like he re-injured his ankle late in the game which could be a problem for the Beavs. Also, he did not have great pass protection and was sacked a lot (7 times, I believe). If Luton can’t find anyone open he needs to throw it away because his -45 yards of rushing really hurt their drives.
Isaiah Hodgins had another huge game (8 catches, 129 yards). Trevon Bradford also had a really nice game with 10 receptions. The passing game could have some nice weapons next season.
I’m not a big fan of the two-quarterback system, but you can’t argue with the results. Bringing Jack Colletto in near the goal-line was pretty effective. The Beavers were in this game and had their opportunities to tie it up or even take the lead, they just couldn’t quite execute at the right times.
The Beavers will regroup and take on Stanford next week.