Oregon State’s dominant passing attack wasn’t bound to last forever. The nation’s No. 1 passing offense entering the game against USC (6-3, 3-2) couldn’t find its usual rhythm as the Beavers (6-3, 4-2) lose for the second consecutive week.
Sean Mannion, OSU’s star QB watched his Heisman chances fly away as he finished the game 26-of-45 for 277 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
“When you play quarterback, you are the one with the ball in your hands and ultimately the one who makes the decisions on where to go with it,” Mannion said. “I think I just need to see that and throw it away.”
Mannion’s three interceptions were the Beavers’ total turnovers. However, there were plenty of other mistakes including a missed kick on the opening drive of the game that was blocked and set up a home run for the Trojans from Cody Kessler to Marquise Lee.
“That’s too much,” Beavers head coach Mike Riley said in reference to the Beavers’ mistakes. “You’re not going to overcome that.”
Defensively the Beavers held strong, for the most part, but struggled from the get go defending the USC running back tandem of Javorius Allen and Silas Redd. Allen finished the game with 16 carries for 133 yards (8.3 YPC) and three touchdowns. Redd led all carriers with 22 attempts for 140 yards (6.4 YPC).
“Great job of coming into a hostile environment and really never letting it affect us as much as it has in the past,” USC head coach Ed Orgeron said “There was a belief in the locker room, at halftime, during the game.”
The Beavers will need to bounce back fast as their remaining games don’t get any easier. OSU’s next three games will be at Arizona State, home against Washington and then on the road against No. 2 Oregon.