Washington State two-minute drill
Player of the game USC fullback Stanley Havili had four rushes for 80 yards and five receptions for 107, scoring a pair of touchdowns and...
Player of the game
USC fullback Stanley Havili had four rushes for 80 yards and five receptions for 107, scoring a pair of touchdowns and contributing several key plays for the Trojans.
Play of the game
USC cornerback Nickell Robey picked off WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel's pass intended for Marquess Wilson and cruised 25 yards into the end zone for the score that put USC ahead for good at 14-7, giving the Trojans two touchdowns in a span of 11 seconds early in the first quarter.
After WSU had put up a touchdown on its opening drive, a two-play sequence turned the momentum to the Trojans. Kicker Nico Grasu's pooch kickoff didn't go far enough and a USC "up" man deflected it out of bounds at the Trojans' 41. On the first snap, Havili blew through the befuddled Cougars for a 59-yard touchdown run.
Cougars coach Paul Wulff said the kickoff was designed to go to the 25- to 30-yard line where "they've got a 300-pound lineman standing there, and he wasn't going to field the ball. Either they muff it, or they weren't going to be able to get a quality return out of it. And we kick it 15 yards."
Packing the pistol
The Cougars showed USC a lot of "Pistol" formation, which aligns a single running back about 7 yards deep, with the shotgun quarterback 2 to 3 yards in front of the back.
Unlike the one Nevada has made popular, in which quarterback Colin Kaepernick runs a lot of option, the Cougars ran only a couple of option plays. WSU coaches said the formation was designed to facilitate a running game either to the right or left, which is harder with the back to one side.
WSU didn't get a lot done in the run game, though, with 100 gross yards, 23 on a scramble by quarterback Tuel.
WSU coaches said the offensive game plan, throwing lots of hitches, screens and slants, was to try to wear down the USC defensive front by getting to move sideline to sideline.
"Make 'em pass-rush," Wulff added, "And we did that. I think we did a good job of tiring them."
It appeared that it might have been WSU's best performance along the offensive line, which allowed three sacks for 16 yards.
"I'm proud of our kids up front," said offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy.
USC gained 302 yards rushing, compared to its average of 196.3 yards entering the game.
He said it
"We have yet to put a full game together. I feel sorry for whoever we're playing when we do." — WSU linebacker Myron Beck.
No apparent new injuries.
At UCLA (2-2), a 34-12 winner Saturday at Texas.
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