USC's Defense has Dominant Performance
It must be November because the USC defense looks like it is rounding into its usual late season form. The Trojan defense put on a dominant performance Saturday night at the LA Coliseum in front 85,713 delighted fans.
The USC defensive line, helped by the smothering coverage of the secondary, put on a pass rushing clinic against Oregon State. "Tonight's game was clearly dominated by the defense," said Pete Carroll.
Coming into the game Oregon State led the nation in sacks but on Saturday night the USC defensive line stepped up and looked like the nation's top unit.
"All week we thought we could pressure them and throughout the night, every guy at least once, came in on the rush," said Carroll. "Just an overwhelming night by the defense."
The Trojans had a season-high nine sacks on the night led by the breakthrough performance of freshman defensive end Everson Griffen. "Just a big night for Everson (Griffen). He was blowing by his guy all night," explained Pete Carroll.
Griffen had a season-high 3.5 sacks.
On the night the Beavers could only muster 176 yards and 3 points.
Everson Griffen has Breakout Game
Defensive end Everson Griffen put all the offensive tackles in the Pac-10 on notice Saturday night. The highly-touted freshman had the best performance of his young career recording 3.5 sacks. "Coach Holt had been telling me all year to run off the ball and it finally clicked for me tonight," Griffen said. "Really, I felt I had a great week of practice and it helps when everyone is playing well."
Griffen's 3.5 sacks set a new team-high mark for the Trojans.
After the game Pete Carroll praised the play of Griffen and said that he expects many more big nights for the talented defensive end.
"He was blowing by his guy all night. We've been waiting a long time for this type of night for him," said Carroll. "I mean this kid is talented and really fast. We will continue to call his number. His speed is so very valuable and he is definitely going to have many nights like this in the future for us."
Carroll Remains Perfect in November
Since Pete Carroll has arrived at USC his teams have all come together and peaked in the month of November. November is usually the time when championship contenders separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
This season USC isn't going to make a run at a national championship but the Trojans still looked ready to dominate the month of November with a convincing 24-3 win over Oregon State.
Pete Carroll now raised his record to a flawless 21-0 in November.
The Trojans also extended their home win streak against Oregon State to 21 games.
Booty gets Win in Return
Senior quarterback John David returned after missing the last three games with a broken finger on his throwing hand. "It feels great to be back out there, just being amongst the guys on the field," said Booty.
Booty was understandably rusty for much of the game, missing some open throws early in the first half. "I felt I was making some good decisions, but I was a little rusty," said Booty. "I just need to keep playing and get my feeling back."
The senior quarterback got a lot of help from the USC defense and made enough plays to lead the Trojans to a 24-3 victory over Oregon State.
On the day Booty completed 19 of 33 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Booty has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 18 of his 19 career starts.
Fun Facts and Stats
Saturday's win was the 750th in USC history. USC ranks 10th all-time amongst college football programs with an overall record of 750-302-54 (.703).
USC finished with 9 sacks on Saturday, the most since the Trojans had 9 sacks in the 2004 Rose Bowl against Michigan.
Chauncey Washington had his first TD reception of the year Saturday. Washington was the 10th USC player to catch a touchdown pass this season.
The Trojans held Oregon State to just 3 points, which is the fifth time USC has held its opponent to 14 points or less this season.
Oregon States James Rodgers had a 39-yard run in the first quarter. The 39-yard rush was the longest run that the USC defense has allowed the entire season.
Recruits Spotted at the Game
Fortunately we are able to report that the Trojans didn't suffer any major injuries in Saturday's game against Oregon State. Alfred Rowe limped off the field with a sprained ankle. Offensive tackle Sam Baker sat out with a pulled hamstring. He is considered questionable for this week's game at California.