Oregon State stuns No. 1 USC
Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon State built an early lead and held on for a 27-21 upset victory over top-ranked Southern California on Thursday night.
The Beavers (2-2, 1-1 Pacific-10) also upset USC at Reser Stadium in 2006. This time, Oregon State took a 21-0 lead in the first half, then capitalized on a late turnover.
USC quarterback Mark Sanchez’s pass was intercepted by safety Greg Laybourn on the 30 with less than 3 minutes to play. Laybourn ran the ball back 28 yards to put Oregon State on the 2, and Rodgers ran 2 yards to make it 27-14.
Sanchez hit Patrick Turner with a 14-yard scoring pass with 1:19 left, but time ran out on the Trojans (2-1, 0-1). Beavers fans, clad in orange, rushed the field when the clock ran out.
Beavers quarterback Lyle Moevao completed 18 of 26 passes for 167 yards and two scores.
The last time the Trojans were in Corvallis, back in 2006, they were upset by the Beavers 33-31. That loss snapped a 38-game regular-season winning streak for the Trojans, who were ranked No. 3 at the time.
Rodgers’ rushing yards were the most by a Trojans opponent since Vince Young ran for 200 for Texas in the BCS national championship game in 2006
USC tailback Joe McKnight rushed for just 10 yards against the Beavers, after gaining 105 yards in the Trojans’ 35-3 victory over Ohio State.
Sanchez completed 18 of 29 passes for 227 yards and three scores, with the one crucial interception.
The game opened with drama, as USC safety Taylor Mays was called for a personal foul on Oregon State receiver James Rodgers on an 8-yard touchdown reception.
Trojans coach Pete Carroll asked that the score be reviewed, because it did not look as if the ball had crossed the line. The touchdown stood, giving the Beavers a7-0 lead.
The Beavers more than held their own through the first half, with the Trojans appearing confused about how to handle the 5-foot-7 Jacquizz Rodgers — James Rodgers’ younger brother.
Jacquizz Rodgers, who ran for 117 yards in the first half alone, pushed through the defensive line for a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0.
His big brother would see the end zone again before halftime. Moevao’s pass was nearly intercepted by USC cornerback Kevin Thomas, but the ball was tipped into the hands of James Rodgers to make it 21-0.
USC answered on its first series of the second half with Sanchez’s 26-yard scoring pass to Ronald Johnson.
Sanchez found wide open receiver Damien Williams, who sprinted down the sideline — and narrowly avoided Laybourn’s efforts to push him out of bounds — to narrow it to 21-14 with 2:56 left in the third quarter.
The Beavers squandered a chance to add to the lead midway through the fourth when they tried for a field goal — and Sean Sehnem’s 41-yard attempt was blocked.