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USC Trojans dominate second half and finish off the Gophers

Img_7097_medium Big plays as well a long drives resulted in five touchdowns for the Trojans as they dominated the Gophers this afternooon.

  • USC TD #1 - 13 plays, 60 yards, 3 yard run by Marc Tyler
  • USC TD #2 - 4 plays, 77 yards, 53 yard pass to Ronald Johnson
  • USC TD #3 - 97 yard Kickoff return for a by Robert Woods
  • USC TD #4 - 11 plays, 88 yards, 21 yard pass to David Ausberry
  • USD TD #5 - 5 plays, 91 yards, 56 yard run by Allen Bradford

Three touchdown plays of 53 yards or more and then two touchdown drives of 11 and 13 plays.

After a listless first half by the Trojans and a Gopher touchdown to give Minnesota the lead in the 3rd quarter, USC exerted their will and pounded the rock rushing for 121 yards in the 4th quarter alone. The big Trojan line leaned on the Gopher defensive front and they opened hole after hole averaging about eight yards per carry.

Lane Kiffin

We had a few big plays, b were not very consistent. We were putting ourselves in long yardages with some very crucial penalties. It was good to see the backs, especially Allen (Bradford) and C.J. (Gable) ran hard at the end too. You're going to have games like that especially on the road, things start not going your way, you kind of need to rely on the ground game. That's the first time we've done that out of three games.

The Trojans won the line of scrimmage and controlled the second half. On to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good

The USC ground game was really unstoppable by the Gophers in the second half, but this is about the Gophers. What was good? Not much but if I'm looking for anything I'd go with two things. The first is our 2-pnt conversion defense. Lane Kiffin wanted to get cute and go for 2, but not on this defense.

  • James Manuel was burned for the big touchdown where he was spun around like a top. But other than that he played pretty well, especially considering he is a true freshman. He knocked down a pass in the endzone, he had a pick and he recovered a fumble to along with this seven tackles.
  • MarQueise Gray continued to look like a very good receiver. 4 catches, 98 yards and a touchdown. He's looking better and better at receiver. He should really consider asking to move to this position full-time.

The Bad

Our record at home in our new stadium. 4-5 since the stadium opened.

  • Our rush defense, and in particular our tackling.
  • The offensive line was incredibly inconsistent today. Most rushing plays were blown up early and pass projection was spotty.
  • The Jewhan Edwards facemask penalty. This isn't really me knocking Edwards. He made a good move to get to Barkley, was trying o bring him down and happened to get a handful of facemask. But it really hurt. At the time the score was 26-14 and the sack would have forced a punt with about 10 minutes still to play.

The Ugly

The entire game really was pretty ugly. USC was flagged seven times for 71 yards. Both quarterbacks combined for four touchdowns and both teams each lost a fumble.

  • Tackling is a major issue for this team.
  • Duane Bennett's line for the day. 7 carried, 8 yards.
  • The clock management at the end of the first half. Why Brewster let the clock run down, called a timeout and then threw a pass is beyond me. First of all if you are going to let the clock run, then call a run and punt after forcing USC to call a timeout. Secondly, if you are going to pass then call a better pass play. We had three players running straight down the field. You had time and timeouts, have one guy come across the field after the other guys take the Trojan secondary deep. Weber had few options and chose to make a terrible throw to the USC safety.

Overall this was not a pretty game and it wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicated. Minnesota played well for the better part of three quarters but too many big plays and drives where USC needed it they got what they wanted.

I guess nobody should be surprised by the outcome and really I think most of us expected it to be much worse. The Gophers looked much better this week than they did last week. That clearly wasn't going to be enough but this loss was expected.