YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


It's Hard to Pick Out Anything Special


If there was one bright spot in USC's 28-17 loss to Oregon on Saturday, it was the kicking of freshman John Wall.

Normally, a 25-yard field goal and a couple of extra points--one of which barely cleared the crossbar--would not be something to brag about. But Wall's first college start translated into a rare occasion in which the Trojans did not miss a kick.

"This game we actually improved on special teams," Coach Paul Hackett said.

The improvement was not enough to overcome the team's overall shortcomings.

"This is an issue of a football team that is not playing well enough to beat a good football team," Hackett said. "We played a good football team."


In all the films USC watched of Oregon, there was one thing that defensive coordinator Bill Young said he never saw: the shovel pass.

That was a play the Ducks used to great advantage Saturday.

In the first quarter, tailback Maurice Morris ran it eight yards up the middle for a touchdown that tied that game at 7-7. In the third quarter, he took it 15 yards for a first down.

"They have a great offensive coordinator that puts together a great package that surprises you," USC linebacker Zeke Moreno said. "I don't know if we are thinking too much, but we just didn't react fast enough."


Not that Oregon acted as if this was a home game or anything, but 10 Duck starters are from Southern California. There are 21 Southland natives on the Oregon 60-man travel squad, and more California players (31) than those from Oregon (16).

To make matters worse, running back Maurice Morris, who gained 111 total yards and scored a touchdown, was a junior college standout from Fresno who chose Oregon over USC.


Lousy Trojan Landmarks:

* This was only Oregon's second win at the Coliseum in 29 years. It is 6-22 against the Trojans here.

* This is the first time the Ducks have defeated the Trojans in three consecutive seasons since 1956-58.

* Joey Harrington became the first quarterback to throw four touchdowns against USC since Steve Beuerlein for Notre Dame in 1986.

* USC is 0-3 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1957.

* Beginning with the infamous loss to Texas Christian in the Sun Bowl at the end of the 1998 season, Hackett's Trojans have gone 9-10.

* This game marked the 16th time in the last 23 home games that the Trojans have failed to draw 60,000.

Los Angeles Times Articles