Grading the Trojans

The Trojans got a big 24-17 win over the California Golden Bears on Saturday. See how SCPlaybook's Kevin Carden grades the Trojans performance.

Quarterback: C+

The bad weather conditions did a lot to limit the USC passing game against California.

John David Booty completed just 11 and 20 pass attempts and missed a streaking Ronald Johnson on the Trojans' first possession of the game.

Considering the nasty conditions Booty had a solid performance and did enough to keep USC's Rose Bowl hopes alive with a big win in Berkeley.

Running Backs: A-

Fifth-year senior Chauncey Washington sure looked comfortable running in the rain. Washington ran for a career-high 220 yards on 29 carries including a 36-yard touchdown run.

Coming into the game Pete Carroll talked about using a rotation of Chauncey Washington, Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson at tailback. But Washington got so hot that all McKnight and Johnson could do was enjoy the game from the sidelines.

"It was amazing just sitting back and just watching that guy (Chauncey Washington) do his thing," said fellow running back Stafon Johnson.

Fullback: B

Fullback Stanley Havili had just one reception in the Trojans win, but he really made it count. Havili caught a 5-yard touchdown reception from John David Booty for the Trojans first score of the day.

Wide Receivers: C+

Sophomore Vidal Hazelton has looked like the Trojans top receiver the last few weeks. This Saturday Hazelton tied for the team lead with 4 catches.

Patrick Turner's only catch of the day came at a critical time. Turner had a 13-yard reception on 3rd and 9 with 2:30 left in the game.

The Trojans still needs to find more consistency in the passing game to make a run at a BCS bowl.

Tight Ends: B+

Once again tight end Fred Davis was the Trojans most productive receiver. Davis had a team-high 54 yards on 4 receptions.

The big tight end is on his way to an All-American season.

Offensive Line: B+

Playing in bad conditions at Berkeley, the USC coaches put the game in the hands of their offensive line and the big guys up front came through with a big performance.

The Trojans rushed for 239 yards and didn't give up sack in their 24-17 win over the Golden Bears.

A healthy offensive line should be the strength of the USC offense for the remainder of the season.

Defensive Line: C-

The USC defensive line, which is one of the best units in the nation, had a long day against California.

USC's front four didn't have a single sack or tackle for loss and gave up 200 yards on the ground.

Look for the defensive linemen to bounce back with a big game against Arizona State.

Linebackers: C-

The usually solid USC linebackers had a below average performance against California. Missed tackles and poor reads allowed the Golden Bears to rush for 200 yards.

Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga still has a tendency to over run plays and get out of position. Keith Rivers left with a high-ankle sprain in the third quarter.

On a positive note, Brian Cushing has been a difference maker since returning to the starting lineup.

Cornerbacks: A-

For the second week in a row senior Terrell Thomas came up big for the Trojans.

Thomas and the USC cornerbacks contained the talented California receivers for most of the game limiting DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan to 10 catches combined.

Terrell Thomas' interception late in the fourth quarter sealed the Trojans win.

"I think we made our plays. We got two interceptions and made some plays on the ball. We had a good day out there," Terrell Thomas said.

Safeties: A-

USC safeties Taylor Mays and Kevin Ellison had an active night against California. Mays had a team-high 10 tackles and broke up three passes.

Kevin Ellison was second on the team with 8 tackles and had an interception. Ellison continues to have an outstanding year for USC.

Coaching:C+

The Trojans continued to play undisciplined football committing penalties at critical times. USC had 8 penalties for 40 yards against California.

On a positive note the coaches finally decided to give a running back 20-plus carries to find a rhythm. Chauncey Washington was that back and responded with 220 yards on 29 carries.


USCFootball.com Top Stories