The USC Trojans came into the game as a favorite, and a lot of people counted Oregon State out — but they gave USC a tough time from the very beginning.
The Beavers absolutely demolished the USC defense on the ground — 319 total with 171 yards at halftime. Oregon State junior RB B.J. Baylor led the way with 158 yards on 23 attempts while sophomore QB Chance Nolan and sophomore RB Deshaun Fenwick added over 50 yards apiece on the ground.
USC is now 2-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play on the season, and interim head coach Donte Williams experienced the first loss of his tenure and one in his Coliseum debut.
“Tomorrow, we go back to work,” Williams said postgame. “No different than any other week, even when we won, we got back to work the next day. Week to week, it’s a different opponent but the opponent is faceless. The opponent is mainly us and what we need to do. We have to concentrate on ourselves, and as long as we do that, things will shake out.”
Here are the winners and losers from this game:
Winner: Oregon State
After scoring over 40 points in back-to-back weeks, the Beavers did it again versus a solid USC defense that was expected to play much better than they did. The Trojans came in allowing about 343 total yards per game — and the Beavers finished the game with 532. The Trojans didn’t come out and put their best performance on the field.
Loser: USC secondary
The Trojans’ secondary was embarrassed by Nolan and company. Aside from the running game, Nolan threw for 213 yards on 15-for-19 with four touchdowns and two interceptions. The receiving corps led by Tyjon Lindsey ran all over USC with Lindsey finishing the game with five receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
USC safety Isaiah Pola-Mao said postgame that the team isn’t a finished product yet and they’ll be going back to work on the next opponent.
“I think Oregon State had a good game plan for us today, and we didn’t make the adjustments,” he said. “Honestly, our defense relies on making our plays. We put people in one-on-one positions, and they just made their plays better than us.”
Winner: Chance Nolan
Two weeks ago, he was coming into the game for senior QB Sam Noyer down a touchdown against Purdue. Now, he’s the starter, and the sophomore is doing a great job under center. He came into the game with a great completion percentage at 70% and a good yardage average with almost 10 yards per pass. He also hadn’t thrown an interception yet — but that changed.
Loser: OC Graham Harrell
Slovis finished the game with 355 passing yards on 31-for-49 with a touchdown and three interceptions — including one with less than a minute left in the game. His favorite target Drake London had an epic game — 10 receptions for 165 yards — but it definitely wasn’t enough.
USC’s running game was inconsistent and eventually abandoned — finishing with 76 yards as a team on the ground on 22 attempts. Keaontay Ingram was the starter for the first time this season, finishing with 14 carries to Vavae Malepeai’s four carries. The offense hasn’t played well lately, and there are a lot of different issues within it.
Slovis said postgame that they are looking at themselves first and have expectations that they’ve set for themselves.
“This whole thing isn’t going to turn around overnight,” he said. “Coach Donte has done a great job of holding guys accountable, changing the culture, and building the culture. You’re not going to see a change in one week. We have a lot of work to do — we’ve got to stay together and stay up.”
The Trojans are back on the field next Saturday in Boulder, Colorado to face the Buffaloes at Folsom Field.