A flat-out nightmare of a day for USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who passed for only 75 yards on 19 attempts, threw an interception and hurt his ankle on the penultimate play of the first half. Backup Mitch Mustain couldn't muster up much in his place.
Marc Tyler was named the starter this week in practice by Lane Kiffin, but he squandered the opportunity with a 3.1 yards-per-carry average before apparently re-injuring his ankle late in the first half. Reserve runner C.J Gable impressed some in the second half, gaining 57 yards.
CIN THE TRENCHES
Not a memorably bad day for the defensive line, but the brutes on offense struggled mightily to create running holes against the Beavers' D-line. The sack that caused Barkley's injury looked like it could have been prevented with good protection from the line.
Jacquizz Rodgers was a workhorse once again, but USC actually limited him fairly well early on and forced beleaguered Beavers quarterback Ryan Katz to make several tough passes. Unfortunately for the Trojans, Katz was able to do that just fine and made very few mistakes.
It may seem like a minor factor, but OSU punter Johnny Hekker outclassed USC's Jacob Harfman, giving the Beavers a 15-yard advantage in field position per punt. Gable did come close to taking a kickoff back for a score on the drive he later scored on.
Curse or no curse, Kiffin's Trojans didn't appear to be completely prepared for everything Oregon State threw at them -- and some of that has to go on the head coach, who criticized his team twice this week for lackluster practices. Energy was largely absent.