Matt Barkley Hurt As USC Drops Third Straight In Corvallis, 36-7

USC has beaten Oregon State in 32 of their last 36 meetings, but have lost their last three trips to Corvallis.

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Oregon State 36, USC 7: Trojans Lose Game, Matt Barkley

Corvallis, OR (Sports Network) - Ryan Katz threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns while Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 128 yards and a score, as Oregon State stifled No. 20 Southern California, 36-7, at Reser Stadium.

Katz completed 17-of-24 passes for the Beavers (5-5, 4-3 Pac-10), who had lost their last two. Oregon State recorded its largest margin of victory over the Trojans since the teams' initial meeting in 1914.

USC (7-4, 4-4) played the final two quarters without quarterback Matt Barkley, who suffered an apparent ankle injury at the end of the first half. Barkley completed 10-of-19 passes for 75 yards with an interception, which cornerback Jordan Poyer returned 65 yards for a score to help the Beavers snap the Trojans' two-game win streak.

It appears that Barkley will likely miss the final two games of the season, per this tweet from the USC athletic department:

Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain & judging by his comments will need to be a miraculous healer to come back in 2 weeks.No official news.

USC hosts Notre Dame next Saturday night.

For more USC football news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC At Oregon State: Matt Barkley Out With Sprained Ankle, Mitch Mustain In At QB

As if trailing at halftime 20-0 wasn't bat enough for the USC Trojans, the news got worse as quarterback Matt Barkley hurt himself on the final offensive play of the first half for the Trojans. He was helped to the sidelines at halftime, then carted into the locker room, with a sprained left ankle. The USC athletic department tweeted this at halftime:

Barkley was carted off at halftime. Mitch Mustain getting briefed to go in. Coach Helton's final words to him, "Go have fun!"

Mitch Mustain is now in at quarterback for the Trojans, who went three-and-out on their first drive of the second half. Mustain threw one pass, which was incomplete. Mustain, the senior former transfer from Arkansas, completed 12 of 17 passes for 105 yards and one touchdown in the first 10 games this season.

Barkley has completed 221 of 351 passes (63.0%) this season for 2,593 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His return tonight is questionable. The Trojans have lost two straight games in Corvallis against the Beavers.

For more USC football news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


Oregon State 20, USC 0: Trojans Continue First Half Struggles In Corvallis

Tonight feels like deja vu all over again for the USC Trojans, who trail Oregon State at halftime, 20-0. The Trojans have lost two straight games in Corvallis, and three of the last four road games against the Beavers. Two big plays in the first half gave Oregon State their big lead.

Both teams had one long drive in the first quarter. USC was stopped on fourth down at the Oregon State 25-yard line, while the Beavers converted their drive into three points with a 34-yard field goal by Justin Kahut with 35 seconds remaining in the opening period. The second quarter was when the big plays happened.

USC was driving after a strong kickoff return by Ronald Johnson, but Jordan Poyer intercepted a Matt Barkley pass and ran the ball 65 yards for a touchdown, giving Oregon State a 10-0 lead. Later in the quarter, after it appeared USC forced the Beavers to punt, Oregon State ran a fake punt on 4th-and-6 from the 38-yard line. On the pass attempt, USC was called for pass interference, extending the drive which ultimately ended with a three-yard touchdown by Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers, who had 299 rushing yards in his two career games against USC, ended the half with 64 yards on 12 carries.

USC failed to score in the first quarter in Corvallis for the fourth straight game. The last time the Trojans scored in the first quarter on the road against Oregon State was in 2000, and even then Oregon State began that game up 14-0 and would beat USC 31-21.

USC First Half Struggles In Corvallis
Year 1st Qtr Score at Half Result
Tonight 0-3 0-20 ??
2008 0-7 0-21 L, 21-27
2006 0-7 10-16 L, 31-33
2004 0-6 7-13 W, 28-20

Barkley was largely ineffective for USC in the first half, completing 10 of 19 passes for 75 yards, throwing one interception. He nearly threw a second interception, but it was dropped by Oregon State on what was an unsuccessful fourth-down attempt for USC anyway. Barkley appeared to hurt himself on the Trojans' final offensive play of the half, when it looked like Barkley's left leg was hurt on a sack.

USC gets the ball first in the second half.

For more USC football news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC Vs. Oregon State: Beavers Strike First, Lead 3-0

The Oregon State Beavers got on the scoreboard first, as a 34-yard field goal by Justin Kahut gave the Beavers a 3-0 lead after the first quarter in Corvallis. The drive by Oregon State was keyed by a 23-yard run by Trojan nemesis Jacquizz Rodgers. Robert Woods returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards, giving USC solid field position heading into the second quarter.

USC drove 71 yards in 11 carries on its first drive, but the drive stalled when the Trojans were stopped on a fourth down run. Marc Tyler needed two yards for the first down, and was awarded the first down after the initial spot, but after official review the ball was re-spotted just short of the first down, giving the ball to the Beavers.

Oregon State punted on its first two drives, but drove 55 yards on seven plays for the game's opening score. The Beavers outgained the Trojans 75 yard to 69 in the opening 12 minutes. USC's best play came on a 21-yard run by Woods, the wide receiver, out of the wild card formation. USC has lost two straight games in Corvallis.

For more USC football news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC At Oregon State: Trojans Seek Rare Win In State Of Oregon

The USC Trojans will look to stop a disturbing trend tonight as they travel to Corvallis to face the Oregon State Beavers. The Trojans have lost each of their last two road games, and three of their last four road games to the Beavers. In fact, USC has lost in each of the last four years in their trip to the state of Oregon:

  • 2009: AP No. 10 Oregon 47, No. 4 USC 20
  • 2008: Oregon State 27, No. 1 USC 21
  • 2007: No. 5 Oregon 24, No. 9 USC 17
  • 2006: Oregon State 33, No. 3 USC 31

USC's history against the Beavers isn't all bad. They have won 22 straight against Oregon State in Los Angeles, with their last loss coming in 1960. Of course, today's game isn't in Los Angeles. USC is 18-6-1 all-time on the road against Oregon State, and leads the all-time series 59-10-4. But three of those 10 losses to the Beavers have come in the last nine contests.


For more USC news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC At Oregon State: Dillon Baxter Doesn't Make Trip

As the USC Trojans prepare for their tough road game in Corvallis Saturday night against the Oregon State Beavers, they will be without freshman running back Dillon Baxter, who did not make the trip because of an ill-advised trip across campus at USC. Head coach Lane Kiffin was interviewed by Jordan Moore of the USC Ripsit blog before departing today:

"Yesterday as he was traveling across campus, he was given a ride in a golf cart by a couple of students. Later we found out that one of these students may be an agent," Kiffin said before leaving for Corvallis today. "Obviously, we take this very serious. We talked to Dillon. Dillon didn't know that, but we turned him in to the NCAA. In the meantime, he won't be going with us."

Baxter has gained 248 rushing yards on 57 carries this season, an average of 4.4 yards per rush. He has played in eight of the 10 games this season. Baxter was suspended by the school for the season opener in Hawaii for violating team rules.

For more USC news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC At Oregon State: Game Preview

(Sports Network) - The 20th-ranked USC Trojans aim for their third straight victory as they travel to Corvallis this weekend for a showdown with the Oregon State Beavers. Lane Kiffin's Trojans may not have any postseason plans, but they are playing like a team that does, sporting a 7-3 overall record. USC got a big win last weekend, with a 24-21 decision at Arizona to move to 7-3 overall and 4-3 in Pac-10 play.

Mike Riley's Beavers have suffered some key injuries and have been plagued with inconsistent play this year and the result is a subpart 4-5 record. The team is 3-3 in conference play, but enters this contest having lost two straight games, including a humbling 31-14 setback at home against Washington State. Riley sees that USC is peaking down the stretch.

"Those of you who have followed USC know you're looking at a team that has a great group of athletes. I think they have played their best football here recently. They've been in a ton of close games and it's impressive to watch." USC has dominated the all-time series with OSU, sporting a 59-10-4 record, but Oregon State has won two straight and three of the last four meetings in Corvallis.

The Trojans have been a strong offensive team this year, averaging 35.2 ppg, on a hefty 462.3 yards of total offense. It has been great balance which has been this team's greatest asset, averaging 200.0 yards per game rushing and 262.3 passing.

Quarterback Matt Barkley has had a strong season, completing 63.6 percent of his passes, for 2,518 yards, with 25 TDs and nine INTs. He has a potent one- two punch on the outside in the form of WRs Robert Woods (50 receptions, 633 yards, six TDs) and Ronald Johnson (48 receptions, 571 yards, eight TDs). The backfield has talented depth as well, headlined by tailbacks Marc Tyler (786 yards, nine TDs, 5.8 ypc) and Allen Bradford (571 yards, four TDs, 7.4 ypc).

Tyler had 160 yards rushing in the win over Arizona and Kiffin credits his offensive line for the success. "Our offensive line has taken a lot of criticism, especially from me, but we ran behind them for 200 yards and they didn't give up a sack,"

It is on the defensive side of the football that USC has struggled this year. The unit has been uncharacteristically generous, giving up 27.7 ppg on well over 400 yards (421.9 ypg). Still, this squad has made plays at times, with 22 sacks and 19 takeaways. Sophomore safety T.J. McDonald leads the team in tackles (78) and is tied for the team lead in INTs (three). Sophomore linebacker Devon Kennard is second in stops (61). Junior tackle Jurrell Casey has been the team's top player up front, with 51 tackles, 7.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks.

The Beavers are averaging a solid 26.3 ppg and have done it despite netting a modest 331.8 yards of total offense. Injuries have certainly been a problem, especially the loss of standout WR James Rodgers. Quarterback Ryan Katz has still done a solid job under center despite his arsenal being down a big gun. Katz is completing 60.4 percent of his passes on the year, for 1,840 yards and 14 TDs. Markus Wheaton has stepped up and taken over the role of primary target with 35 receptions, for 458 yards and three TDs. It has also helped to have a versatile tailback that can both run the ball and catch it out of the backfield. Very few do it as well as Jacquizz Rodgers, who has amassed 893 yards and 13 TDs on the ground, while hauling in 28 balls, for 193 yards and two more scores through the air.

The OSU defense has struggled against both the run and the pass, allowing 169.2 yards per game on the ground and another 239.6 through the air. The team has gotten after opposing QBs though, with 25 sacks on the season.

Leading this unit is linebacker Dwight Roberson, with 69 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 4.0 sacks, one INT and one fumble recovery. Defensive end Gabe Miller (40 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 4.0 sacks) and tackle Stephen Paea (28 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 4.0 sacks) have been strong up front, while safety Suaesi Tuimaunei (61 tackles, one INT) has performed well in the secondary.

For more USC news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC Vs. Oregon State On ABC For 19% Of Country

The USC Trojans will look to win their third straight game Saturday in Corvallis against the Oregon State Beavers. Their Saturday night contest is the second of four straight night games to end the year for USC (7-3, 4-3 in the Pac-10). Saturday's game in Corvallis will be seen regionally on ABC. Roughly 19% of the country will get to watch the Trojans and Wildcats on ABC, while the remainder will have to watch on, per ESPN:


The Trojans are used to playing under the lights this season, as they have played seven of their first 10 games starting at 5 p.m. or later. Their last three games are also night games, giving them 10 of 13 night contests this season. Here is their remaining schedule:

  • Saturday: at Oregon State, 5 p.m.
  • November 27: Notre Dame, 5 p.m.
  • December 4: at UCLA, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's game in Corvallis will be called by Mark Neely, Mike Bellotti, and Brock Huard.

For more USC news and information, be sure to read SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC Vs. Oregon State: Containing Jacquizz Rodgers Will Be Key For Trojans

If the USC Trojans are going to extend their winning streak to three games this weekend in Corvallis against the Oregon State Beavers, they will have to contain running back Jacquizz Rodgers. The tailback, third in the Pac-10 conference in rushing yards and tied for second in rushing touchdowns, has had success against USC in his career. As a freshman 2008, Rodgers had 186 yards on 37 carries, leading Oregon State to an upset of the No. 1 Trojans. Last year, Rodgers had 113 on 20 carries against the Trojans.

"He's a very explosive player, tough to tackle, you lose him back behind there," head coach Lane Kiffin said on Tuesday. "I think Mike Riley's one of the best offensive coaches in the country; he's proved it over and over again. We're going to have our hands full." However, Oregon State is just eighth in the conference in offense, averaging 331.8 yards per game.

With Marc Tyler taking the bulk of the load at running back, Allen Bradford has been an afterthought. Bradford didn't get a carry last week against Arizona, and has just 11 yards on four carries in USC's last three games. Keep in mind that Bradford is averaging a team-best 7.4 yards per carry this season. However, fumbling has been a problem, something Kiffin and the coaching staff have stressed. "He's just got to make the most of his chances when he gets the chance," said Kiffin.

Here is video of Kiffin after practice on Tuesday:

USC has lost their last two trips to Corvallis, in 2006 and 2008, but Kiffin pays no attention to that recent history. "The way we look at it, this team is 0-0 up there," he said. "This is a new team, new staff, we haven't there yet. We're excited to go up there and play really well."

For more USC football news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.


USC At Oregon State: Trojans Seek Third Straight Win

The USC Trojans look for their third straight win on Saturday night as they travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. The game is the final USC contest to be played outside of Los Angeles this season, as the Trojans end their schedule with a home game against Notre Dame, followed by a trip to the Rose Bowl to face crosstown rival UCLA.

USC has lost its last two trips to Corvallis, and have lost three of their last four road games to Oregon State. The last loss came in 2008, when the No. 1 Trojans fell to the Beavers, 27-21. USC leads the all-time series against Oregon State, 59-10-4. Even with those three recent road losses to the Beavers, the Trojans have won 32 of their last 35 games against Oregon State.

The Trojans moved back into the Associated Press poll top 25 this week after two weeks on the outside looking in. USC has been ranked in the AP top 25 for 109 of their last 114 games.

Marc Tyler has asserted himself at tailback in the last month. He has led the Trojans in rushing yards in each of the last four weeks, including a career-high 160 yards on 31 carries in last week's win against Arizona. Tyler leads USC on the season with 786 rushing yards. Oregon State's rush defense is seventh in the Pac-10, allowing 169.2 yards per game this season.

Oregon State is still in the running for bowl eligibility, but has the toughest road to hoe with their remaining schedule. The Beavers (4-5, 3-3 in the Pac-10) have to win two of their final three games, but face the top three teams in the conference in USC, Oregon, and Stanford. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers is third in the Pac-10 in both rushing yards (893) and rushing touchdowns (13).

The 5 p.m. PST game will be broadcast regionally on ABC. Mark Neely, Mike Bellotti, and Brock Huard are on the call.

For more USC football news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.

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