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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