Grading the Trojans - Oregon State

USC had a convincing 24-3 victory over Oregon State at the LA Coliseum on Saturday. See how SCPlaybook's Kevin Carden grades the Trojans performance.

Grading the Trojans

Quarterback: B-

John David Booty returned after being sidelined the last three games. Booty looked rusty at times but overall had a solid performance. He looked sharp in the second quarter leading USC to three touchdowns.

The senior quarterback completed 19 of 33 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Booty has now thrown at least one TD pass in 18 of his 19 career starts at USC.

Booty had zero interceptions which is a very good sign.

Fullback: C-

Stanley Havili had a very quiet night for the Trojans. The playmaking fullback didn't get a single rush and only had 1 reception for no gain.

Havili dropped a potential touchdown reception late in the game.

Running Backs : B-

USC's Chauncey Washington had one of his better performances of the year. The senior tailback led the Trojans with 60 rushing yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. He also had success in the passing game, scoring on a 26-yard screen pass from John David Booty.

Freshman Joe McKnight added some flash but only averaged 2.4 yards per rush for the game.

Wide Receivers: C-

Vidal Hazelton had another good game for the Trojans. Hazelton led the USC receivers with five catches for 53 yards.

Patrick Turner's only reception was a 13-yard TD pass from John David Booty.

The receivers still drop way too many passes and Patrick Turner needs to be more consistent.

Tight End: B

Fred Davis had another solid night for USC. Davis had five catches against Oregon State, tied with Vidal Hazelton for most by a Trojan. It was the fifth time this season that Davis has had the most or tied for the most receptions in a game for USC.

Offensive Line: C+

The Trojans offensive line did a nice job in pass protection limiting the Beavers to just two quarterback sacks.

The Trojans weren't quite as successful in the running game gaining just 100 yards on the night.

Defensive Line: A+

Nine sacks! Need I say more? The defensive line, helped by the outstanding coverage of the secondary, recorded a season-high nine sacks. USC's nine sacks are the most since the Trojans recorded nine sacks against Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl. The bright spot of the night was the emergence of freshman defensive end Everson Griffen. Griffen, who was the top recruit in the 2007 recruiting class according to Scout.com, exploded on the scene with 3.5 sacks against the Beavers.

Lawrence Jackson had 1.5 sacks and Sedrick Ellis also added a sack for the Trojans.

Linebackers: A-

The USC defense really has a whole new dimension when Brian Cushing is healthy. The versatile linebacker had 5 tackles and a sack against Oregon State.

Keith Rivers continues to be one of the Trojans most consistent players on defense. Rivers had a team-high 7 tackles and Rey Maualuga added five tackles.

Cornerbacks: A

The USC cornerbacks had by far their best performance of the season against Oregon State.

For the first time this year the USC defense played mostly man-to-man coverage and the cornerbacks totally shutdown the Oregon State passing game.

Senior cornerback Terrell Thomas had a pass break up and a big interception. Cary Harris played physical in the secondary and Shareece Wright continues to impress when he gets playing time. Safeties: A

Kevin Ellison continues to put together an exceptional year for the Trojans. The junior safety was active all night. Ellison blitzed several times from his safety position and had two sacks.

Taylor Mays was second on the team with six tackles.

Coaching: C+

The coaches' decision to play man-to-man coverage helped lead to a nine sack performance for the defense. It also left fans wondering why the Trojans didn't try it early in the year.

USC continued to play conservative on the offensive side of the ball. Steve Sarkisian's decision to run the ball on a few third and long plays was puzzling and the lack of production in the second half raised some questions.

Special Teams: C

David Buehler was one for two on field goal attempts and Greg Woidneck had a sub par day punting.

On a positive note Ronald Johnson had a solid day returning kickoffs.


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