Here’s the grades for the rain game.
RESULT: NO. 12 USC 24, NO. 24 CALIFORNIA 17.
RECORD: 8-2, 5-2.
WEEK 10 GPA: C+.
The rain made it difficult to pass the ball and John David Booty did a nice job finding the open receiver. The Trojans demonstrated they are unable to complete a deep pass in dry or wet conditions.
You could see the tailback rotation fizzle as Chauncey Washington punished Cals defense with 220 yards. Is this a one-week aberration or will it continue at Arizona State?
Not a lot of chances with the rain and Washington running rampant, but sophomore Vidal Hazelton is quietly mounting a threat to Patrick Turner as the top receiver.
No sacks for John David Booty although he threw just 20 passes and somebody helped Washington. Some false starts and an almost costly holding penalty on the game-winning drive were the drawbacks.
Cal tailback Justin Forsett (164 yards) was the best back the Trojans faced this year and served as a wake-up call to the defense that it still has some soft spots against quality competition.
This was an even longer night for the this unit than the defensive line and USC coach Pete Carroll said it was matter of making poor reads on running plays. But LaVelle Hawkins 20-yard touchdown reception also exposed the linebackers weakness on pass coverage.
With two interceptions, everything else is almost secondary, no pun intended. They also held DeSean Jackson to five receptions, or was it Cal coach Jeff Tedford who did that?
Wide receiver Ronald Johnsons kickoff returns (35, 41 yards) finally gave the freshman an area to show his flashiness, especially because the Trojans seem unable to get the ball to him. The punt team kept the ball away from DeSean Jackson, thanks to Greg Woidnecks smart punting.
Great idea to tell Washington the night before the game to run harder. Why didnt someone think of that a couple months ago? Carrolls got USC in contention for another Rose Bowl, which is an accomplishment if you forget the 23 preseason polls that ranked USC No. 1.