USC steamrolls Cal

first_imgFreshman quarterback Kedon Slovis attempts a pass against Cal Saturday night during USC’s 24-point victory. (Sarah Ko / Daily Trojan) “Drake’s a special guy. And to come in and not even go through spring ball and be able to do the things that he’s doing right now is really, really impressive,” offensive coordinator Graham Harrell said. “He’s just that talented of a guy, and he has a skill set that I’ve never seen before.” In a game where redshirt junior Tyler Vaughns was limited after sustaining an injury against Arizona State, USC proved yet again that its receiving unit is one of the deepest in the nation. Pittman led the charge with 180 yards, freshman Drake London finished with 111 and St. Brown added 85 of his own.  The Trojans entered halftime ahead by just 7 points, but dominated the second half. Cal struggled to get any offense going, punting three times and throwing two interceptions.  Slovis was the highlight of the Trojans’ 24-point victory, completing 29 of 35 passes for 406 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the third time in the last four weeks that Slovis has thrown for at least 400 yards.  The Trojans’ first touchdown came when Slovis was forced to roll out of the pocket before finding a wide open Amon-Ra St. Brown for an 18-yard score after the sophomore receiver’s route dropped junior cornerback Elijah Hicks. Just before halftime, Slovis threw a deep ball to Pittman in one-on-one coverage with Hicks in the end zone. While the ball was in midair, Hicks lost his footing, and Pittman just had to reel it in for an easy 33-yard score.  London made it three straight games with a touchdown catch after going the first eight contests without finding the end zone. “As a defense, nothing really changes for us,” redshirt sophomore safety Isaiah Pola-Mao said of adjusting to the different quarterbacks. “We still have the same mentality: get after the quarterback and get after their offense. When they changed quarterbacks, we knew we were just going to get after them.” “I think it just shows what our offense is capable of,” Slovis said. “Obviously, I think I can play better, even after a game like this … I think it’s just a testament to what this offense can be in the future.” Slovis came out of the gate on fire, completing 17 of 21 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but USC’s biggest plays came when Slovis caught a couple breaks. center_img USC’s worst losses this season — and even a few of its closer wins — have featured essentially the same problem: things get bad, USC has trouble adjusting, things get worse and USC either leaves with a disheartening loss or an unconvincing win.  The Bears’ two quarterbacks combined for 15-of-32 passing with no touchdowns and two interceptions on the night. “Just doing our part really, winning every game that we can,” junior offensive tackle Austin Jackson said. “We’ve got UCLA coming up, it’s a rivalry and Pac-12 South matchup, so it should be fun, and we’ve got a lot of work to get to.” The Trojans’ win improves their record to 7-4, and though its chance at a Pac-12 South title remains slim, the team has now won four of its last five games and carries plenty of momentum into next week’s regular season finale against UCLA. In the Trojans’ 41-17 win over California Saturday in Berkeley, however, the Trojans looked like an entirely different team. USC had trouble at first and was tied at 10 at one point in the second quarter, but the Trojans eventually pulled away with a 17-0 third quarter to put the Bears away.  Redshirt junior quarterback Devon Modster entered the game for Cal after redshirt sophomore Chase Garbers left with a left shoulder injury early in the second quarter. Garbers was playing in his first game since suffering a right arm injury against Arizona State Sept. 27.  Both times Slovis was fortunate that his receivers came wide open, allowing for easy completions. “I think the biggest thing coming away from last week was, yeah we won, that’s great, but we scored 28 points in the first [quarter] and we scored 3 the rest of the game,” freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis said after the game. “That’s not to our standards. So I think this week, scoring continually throughout the game, really probably more so in the second half, that was more exciting for us.”last_img read more

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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – THURSDAY MARCH 2, 2017

first_imgMIDNIGHT STORM IS DEFINITE FOR BIG ‘CAP Philip D’Amato641371120%48%$816,940 Peter Miller802220828%63%$1,176,315 Tiago Pereira801091013%36%$330,815 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS SANTA ANITA’S GRASS COURSE COULDN’T BE GREENERWhat a View, on target for the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile a week from Saturday, will be running on a grass course that drew rave reviews from Kenny Black.“It’s a great turf course,” the trainer said. “It’s taken all that rain and still looks wonderful. It’s as good a turf course as I’ve ever seen.”Probables for the Kilroe include Bal a Bali, Bolo, Conquest Enforcer, Flamboyant, Papacoolpapacool, Ring Weekend, War Envoy and What a View. Flamboyant worked six furlongs on the main track Thursday in a bullet 1:12.20 for Paddy Gallagher. Rafael Bejarano9918151718%51%$983,493 Victor Espinoza47912719%60%$643,797 MIDNIGHT STORM TO WORK FOR BIG ‘CAP            Midnight Storm will run in the Santa Anita Handicap a week from Saturday, March 11, and not in the Dubai World Cup March 25, Phil D’Amato confirmed Thursday morning.“We’re running in the Big ‘Cap,” the trainer said. “We made the decision yesterday for sure. The horse is going well and depending on weather, he could breeze Sunday or Monday.”Probable for the 80th Santa Anita Handicap, a Grade I, $750,000 race for older horses at a mile and a quarter: Follow Me Crev, Gangster, Hard Aces, Hi Happy, Imperative, Isotherm, Midnight Storm, Shaman Ghost and Twentytwentyvision. Jerry Hollendorfer9618111919%50%$1,338,488 Martin Pedroza8610161512%48%$461,198 ECLIPSE CHAMP CASTELLANO RIDES ‘KOBE’ Flavien Prat16839253123%57%$2,570,699 Tyler Baze17833372019%51%$1,525,266 Kent Desormeaux10121121021%43%$1,268,091 UNIQUE BELLA READY FOR SANTA YSABEL Vladimir Cerin3587623%60%$284,064 (Current Through Sunday, Feb. 26) Mike Smith38133934%66%$1,252,159 Bob Baffert4496720%50%$886,151 Peter Eurton4495520%43%$489,669center_img Joseph Talamo1101691715%38%$524,503 Luis Contreras8910102311%48%$487,537 MULTIPLE ECLIPSE CHAMP CASTELLANO AT SANTA ANITAJavier Castellano, winner of an Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding jockey the last four years, invades Santa Anita a week from Saturday, March 11, to ride Kobe’s Back in the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes at seven furlongs for trainer Peter Eurton.Kobe’s Back, who last raced June 25, 2016, finishing third in the Triple Bend, worked six furlongs in 1:13.13 on Santa Anita’s “good” main track before Sunday’s first race.A six-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Flatter owned by the C R K Stable, millionaire Kobe’s Back has a 5-3-4 record from 20 starts with earnings of $1,036,250.Castellano, whose agent is former Santa Anita Racing Department official Mike Lakow, won the Eclipse in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 39-year-old native of Venezuela has 4,625 career wins and $271,934,924 in purse earnings. Santiago Gonzalez9711141211%38%$506,762 Edwin Maldonado5096718%44%$290,180 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Norberto Arroyo, Jr.82138816%35%$648,020 Corey Nakatani5486515%35%$465,131 William Spawr23102343%65%$283,951 John Sadler43791016%60%$471,964 Mark Glatt55911716%49%$400,915 Richard Baltas9416171517%51%$872,657 VERSATILE UNIQUE BELLA ON RAIL FOR SANTA YSABEL            Unique Bella will have to overcome two firsts in Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes for three-year-old fillies: breaking from the rail and going a mile and a sixteenth.It should make no never mind for the budding superstar filly, winner of her last three races by a combined margin of 26 ½ lengths, who is using the Santa Ysabel as a prep for the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks on April 8.“She can adapt to any situation,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “She can be on the lead or sit off it. She’s schooled well for the race and ready to go.”The Santa Ysabel, race six of 10: Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 1-5; Tap It All, Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1; Spooky Woods, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Mistressofthenight, Corey Nakatani, 30-1; What What What, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Noted and Quoted, Martin Garcia, 6-1; and Abel Tasman, Joe Talamo, 5-1. Stewart Elliott11612141610%36%$603,802 Doug O’Neill10913221912%50%$1,097,551 BLACK CALLS SANTA ANITA TURF ‘BEST EVER’ FINISH LINES: Today’s pro sports parlay: Kopitar, a three-year-old son of Shackleford making his debut in the fifth race, is named for Los Angeles’ Kings Captain Anze Kopitar, while Catfish Hunter, a three-year-old son of Grazen named for the Hall of Fame pitcher, makes his first start in the sixth race. Kopitar, trained by Phil D’Amato, is 4-1 on Jon White‘s morning line, while Catfish Hunter, conditioned by Steve Miyadi, is 7-2 . . . Five of the six three-year-old fillies entered in today’s second race finished second through sixth in their last race, the California Cup Oaks here on Jan. 28 . . .  All THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap Day will receive a free Santa Anita umbrella with paid admission while supplies last. There will be a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 6. TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won J. Keith Desormeaux3473521%44%$446,760last_img read more

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