USC-IDAHO: Noteworthy

All the notes, quotes and numbers that matter from USC's 59-9 romp over Idaho.

For Juju Smith-Schuster, it was just a case of doing what he does. And has done since he was a 17-year old freshman team leader at USC last fall.

But there was more to JuJu's performance than just his two touchdowns from 50 and 41 yards out on perfect patterns, his career-high 192 receiving yards on a career-high 10 catches. There was this, as Steve Sarkisian noted.

"JuJu was just as excited for his touchdown as he was about [walkon] Yoofi [Quansah] getting in the game." Which wouldn't surprise anyone.

"We're on the same page," Kessler said of his connection with JuJu.

To Sark, JuJu can be a big part of the USC running game. Play the 215-pounder with single coverage or drop off him at the line of scrimmage and USC will simply flip it out to him, time and again, as Kessler did tonight.

"It's like a long handoff," Sark said. And if teams double JuJu, "that helps our running game," Sark said.

But what really helps USC is the way JuJu took over a motivational moment this past week when he thought his teammates hadn't come out to practice Tuesday, after the long Labor Day weekend, fully ready to play.

Isaac Whitney, who caught a 28-yard TD pass from Kessler against Idaho, bore the brunt of it when he missed a block at the end of practice Tuesday and JuJu double-shivered him under his shoulder pads in frustration at his lack of effort. Then apologized later in the locker room.

No hard feelings, Whitney said. "I didn't do my job," he said. He understood where JuJu was coming from.

BY THE NUMBERS


114

USC's 114 points the first two games is the most to start the season since the 2005 team scored 133-- 63 against Hawai'i and 70 against Arkansas.

737

USC's 737 total yards of offense were the most since the 2005 team racked up 745 against Washington State.

15

USC has held its first two opponents to 15 points, the fewest points scored by the first two opponents in a season since the 2008 Trojans allowed just 10 points the first two games.

78.9

After completing 26 of 31 passes against Idaho (for 83.9 percent), Kessler has now completed 45 of 57 passes for 650 yards -- a 78.9 percent completion rate.

410

Kessler's career-high passing yardage total earned in just three quarters. It's the 10th time a USC quarterback has thrown for more than 400 yards in a game.

45 X 4

For the fourth straight game, starting with USC last year then Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl and Arkansas State and Idaho, USC has scored 45 or more points.

10 for 192

The 192 receiving yards on 10 catches were both career highs for JuJu Smith-Schuster.

5

Of Cody's five incomplete passes, two were to targeted receivers who tripped, one pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, one was dropped and the final one was on a scramble play where Cody threw a deep ball.

81

That's the number of players USC got into the game -- every eligible player, Sark told his coaches -- with the exception of just a few who will keep their redshirts, for example.

434, 5

USC's 434 first-half yards were more than USC managed in five games last year.

4 for 16

The third-down conversion woes continue for USC. After going three for 10 in Week 1, USC managed to convert just one of six Saturday.

14-14

14 true freshmen played for USC against Idaho, one more than last week. That one more was freshman WR Deontay Burnett, who caught one pass for 10 yards. Deontay, with his first college catch, was one of 14 different receivers who had a catch for USC.

Injury report:

None that anyone reported. None that we saw.

Quotables


STEVE SARKISIAN On the improved performance of the USC offensive line: "I thought the protection for Cody was drastically improved from last week. They all did their job . . . Our offensive line communication was drastically improved."

CONNOR SPEARS On his Idaho game even though the tight end wasn't targeted in the passing game: "It went great, I had some good blocks."

SARKISIAN AGAIN ON Ronald Jones "He's a unique guy and very explosive. He's longer than you think. He has good height, long arms, long legs. It'll be interesting to watch him the next few years. I'm excited he's on our team."

USC LB ANTHONY SARAO On the USC defense: "We came out fast. We executed early in the game. It was good to come out in the first half. We have to do better than we did in the second half."

IDAHO COACH PAUL PETRINO On Cody Kessler: "He's just a really great football player. They have a really good scheme and he has good weapons around him. He's experienced and accurate and a very good player."

PETRINO AGAIN On JuJu Smith-Schuster: "He's big and strong. Being a receivers coach most of my life and having studied all types of receivers, I think he looks just like [NFL receiver] Anquan Boldin - a big, strong powerful football player."

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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