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.
Oregon State's only other victory over a No. 1 team was a 3-0
win over USC and O.J. Simpson in 1967.
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 USC, ranked No. 3 at the
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.
Beavers quarterback Lyle Moevao completed 18 of 26 passes for
167 yards and two scores.
USC tailback Joe McKnight rushed for just 10 yards against the
Beavers, after gaining 105 yards in the Trojans' 35-3 victory over
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 a 7-0 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 saw 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.
James Rodgers finished with six catches for 36 yards and the two
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
The Beavers squandered a chance to add to the lead midway
through the fourth when they tried for a field goal, but Sean
Sehnem's 41-yard attempt was blocked.
The Beavers opened this season with two losses, at Stanford and
Penn State, before returning home for a victory over Hawaii.
Despite their struggles, the Beavers had seen steady growth on
offense and the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers, who went into the
game against the Trojans as the nation's leading freshman rusher
with 87.7 yards per game.
USC had shown little vulnerability in victories at Virginia and
then at home against then-No. 5 Buckeyes. But coach Pete Carroll
noted earlier in the week that the familiarity of Pac-10 play posed
The Beavers certainly seemed to have the Trojans figured out,
holding them to 313 yards total offense. Stafon Johnson was USC's
leading rusher with 48 yards. Williams had six catches for 94
USC was without cornerback Shareece Wright, who will miss
several games due to a hairline vertebra fracture suffered in the
Ohio State game.
Carroll had said Wright was being disciplined after being
charged with felony resisting a police officer earlier this month,
but would have played against Oregon State had he been cleared
USC has lost three of its last four games in Corvallis.