No. 14 USC grinds out 38-10 win over Oregon State

first_imgOn Saturday, No. 14 USC jumped back into the win column after last week’s loss to Washington State, as it defeated Oregon State 38-10 on Saturday at the Coliseum.“A good win for our football team, any Pac-12 win is,” head coach Clay Helton said. “[We’re] 1-0 on the week, 5-1 on the season and looking at the game without watching the film yet, I really felt like our defense did an amazing job.” While it was an all-around strong performance for the Trojans on both sides of the ball, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold was unable to depart from his recent turnover-prone play. In the first quarter, he fumbled the ball on his own 20-yard line in a play eerily similar to last week’s fumble against Washington State.Then with three minutes left in the first half, Darnold threw his ninth interception of the year, failing to see a linebacker float to the ball in coverage. He almost gave up the ball again in the second half, fumbling on his own 22-yard line, but tackle Toa Lobendahn recovered it on the one-yard line, narrowly avoiding a safety. Darnold had thrown nine interceptions all of last season.“I think honestly, I’m stopping the offense a little bit right now with the way I’m turning the ball over,” Darnold said. “I’ve just got to be better.” Trevon Sidney catches a pass in USC’s win over Oregon State – Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanOutside of the turnovers, Darnold, for the most part, looked accurate and poised behind an offensive line reshaped due to injuries. On the game, he threw for 316 yards, completing 23 of 35 passes. However, one Oregon State player was less than impressed with the sophomore quarterback’s game.  “Nothing special,” said Oregon State cornerback Kyle White. “He’s a normal Pac-12 QB. I didn’t see anything special. He made his throws, made his reads. He fumbled twice. He had one picked off, should’ve been three. He’s OK.” The Trojans started off fast and furious in their return to the Coliseum after two weeks on the road. Their first drive, which featured a balanced attack between run and pass, was punctuated by a 37-yard touchdown strike from Darnold to freshman wide receiver Tyler Vaughns over the middle. Minutes into the game, Darnold completed his longest pass since Week 3 against Texas. Vaughns finished with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.The Trojans’ fast start was not limited to the offensive side of ball. Immediately following the touchdown drive, Oregon State quarterback Darrell Garretson threw an interception to a leaping sophomore cornerback Jack Jones placing USC deep in enemy territory. Junior running back Ronald Jones scored on a four-yard toss a few plays later, giving his team an early 14-0 advantage. With the touchdown, Jones has scored in 12 consecutive games that he’s played in. While more emphasis was placed on the passing game, Ronald Jones turned a solid day at the office. He finished with 79 yards, averaging over six yards a carry. “I’ve been practicing with those guys all week,” said Ronald Jones about the reshuffled offensive line. “I felt comfortable trusting the guys and the reads.”Christian Rector leaps to block a pass – Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanThe home team would exit the first half with a 21-3 lead, with USC’s third touchdown coming on a 16-yard touchdown catch by junior receiver Deontay Burnett early in the second quarter. Celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday, Burnett scored his team-leading sixth touchdown of the year.The Trojans’ offensive momentum continued into the second half. After Oregon State was forced to punt, the team efficiently and effectively drove 91 yards in just over three minutes, scoring a touchdown when Darnold found freshman tight end Josh Falo wide open on a wheel route for 30 yards. It was both Falo’s first career touchdown and first career reception.Freshman placekicker Chase McGrath added a 29-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter on what would be Darnold’s final drive of the game. In backup redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink’s first career drive, he bursted open for a 51-yard touchdown run on a read option play. After the freshman’s dynamic rush, USC fans were treated to another special moment as redshirt sophomore blind long snapper Jake Olsen once again came onto the field to snap for the extra point. As the crowd roared, Olsen once again delivered a perfect snap.Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink runs for a touchdown – Matt Karatsu | Daily Trojan“Credit to old Matty Fink,” Helton said. “Matt did a wonderful job getting in there and making the most of his opportunity. I’d like to thank coach [Gary] Andersen for the class he showed for allowing us to get Jake in to perform his craft.”The Trojan defense turned in a dominant performance on Saturday afternoon. In addition to sophomore cornerback Jack Jones’ early interception, redshirt sophomore linebacker Christian Rector came up with an important fumble recovery in the third quarter, just as the Beavers were making a push for the end zone. The defensive lineman has shown a knack for finding the football; he has two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles on the season.“This guy [Rector] is becoming a superstar in the last four games,” Helton said. “[He] continues to show up in big ways as we enter the month of October here.” Overall, the defense gave up one touchdown on the afternoon, when Oregon State running back Atavis Pierce ran it in from six yards out in the fourth quarter.“I think we played pretty well,” senior safety and team captain Chris Hawkins said. “The score says we played well, the stats say we played well. I think we can get a lot better. I’m not satisfied, but I think it was a good win for us.”last_img read more

Opponent preview: What to know about the Pittsburgh Panthers

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse snapped its losing streak with a 79-72 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday, the first win in four games for the Orange. On Wednesday, Syracuse (15-12, 8-8 Atlantic Coast) will look for a second-straight victory when it travels to Pittsburgh for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Panthers (15-13, 6-11) enter Wednesday following a three-point home loss to Virginia last Saturday and have lost their last four in a row. Below is the Pittsburgh scouting report before Wednesday night’s tipoff.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 72-45Last time they played: The Orange jetted out to a 20-point lead over the Panthers in the first half before hanging on for a 69-61 win. The Pittsburgh offense appeared puzzled early in the game and failed to break through Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense. As the game carried on, Syracuse’s offense struggled too. Joe Girard III finished the game having shot 25% from the field while the ACC’s leading-scorer Elijah Hughes had just 10 points. Leading the Orange’s forward group was Marek Dolezaj with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Quincy Guerrier added 10 points and eight rebounds. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Pitt report: Pittsburgh has lost its last four games and has scored more than 60 points in just one of those matchups. Its field goal percentages both inside and beyond the arc rank in the bottom 300s nationally, including a 29.2% 3-point field goal percentage.  Outside of a high forced turnover rate, not much on the Panthers stat sheet jumps off the page. No player averages more than 12.3 points per game and Pitt lacks a dominant down-low presence. It’s the exact opposite of the formula that’s beaten down on Syracuse this year.How Syracuse beats Pitt: Syracuse beats Pittsburgh by playing the first half it did a few weeks ago. The Orange forced the Panthers to shoot outside jumpers and scored from all over the floor through the first 20 minutes. If Buddy Boeheim didn’t cool off after an 18-point first half Syracuse may have ran away with that game. Syracuse’s offense hasn’t been a major issue over the last few games and shouldn’t be on Wednesday night either. The Orange needs their usual contributors to play well and they can waltz away from Pittsburgh with an easy win.Stat to know: 34 — With a 34% offensive rebounding percentage, Pittsburgh ranks 342nd worst in the country. KenPom odds: Syracuse has a 49% chance to win the game, with a projected final score of 70-69 in favor of Pittsburgh.Player to watch: Justin Champagnie, guard No. 11The freshman from Brooklyn leads Pittsburgh in points (12.3) and rebounds (7.1) per game. At 6-foot-6, Champagnie plays a guard-forward hybrid and could end up across Hughes for parts of the game. If Pitt wins on Wednesday, watch for a dominant double-double from Champagnie.  Comments Published on February 26, 2020 at 12:37 am Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more