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Hayes Pullard finds his own place in USC spotlight

In something of a mild upset, the Trojans linebacker outshines his former Crenshaw High teammate, Ducks running back De'Anthony Thomas.

November 19, 2011|By Gary Klein
  • Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley, who completed 26 of 34 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns, throws a pass against the Ducks in the first half Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley, who completed 26 of 34 passes for 323… (Steve Dykes / Getty Images )

Reporting from Eugene, Ore. -- Crenshaw High was well represented Saturday in USC's 38-35 victory over Oregon at Autzen Stadium.

But, in something of an upset milder than the final score, the biggest Crenshaw star was USC linebacker Hayes Pullard, not Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas.

Thomas, last year's Los Angeles City Section player of the year, had a good game. He had three yards rushing in three carries, 49 yards and a touchdown in three receptions and 162 yards in three kickoff returns — including a 96-yard sprint for a touchdown in the third quarter.

But Pullard, also a freshman, stole the show. He made a team-high 14 tackles, including a sack, and forced a fumble.

Pullard and Thomas were close at Crenshaw, but the USC linebacker had said he'd be all business when he faced his former teammate on the field. And he wasn't kidding.

Thomas took a while to get started, but he showed all of the many talents that USC thought it would be able to utilize before Thomas reversed a commitment he had made with the Trojans and signed instead with the Ducks.

Marcus Martin, another Crenshaw freshman starting for USC, played well at left guard and helped pave the way for a Trojans rushing attack that gained 139 yards. Terrell Tumer Turner, a senior defensive end for Oregon from Crenshaw, had four tackles.

Moving up

Matt Barkley's four-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods in the second quarter was the 73rd of his career, moving him past Carson Palmer on USC's all-time list. That was his third touchdown pass of the first half, and he added another in the third quarter on a five-yard pass to Randall Telfer.

Matt Leinart holds the school record with 99 touchdown passes.

Lockout diversion

The stars were out at Autzen Stadium.

NBA stars, that is.

With the season on hold, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony were among pro basketball players in attendance.

Memory loss

In a television interview immediately after the game, USC Coach Lane Kiffin was asked how it felt to upset Oregon after the Trojans had lost to the Ducks by a total of 48 points the last two seasons.

His reaction: a blank expression.

"I don't remember that," he deadpanned.

Getting offensive

After holding Oregon to just seven points in the first half, USC got a major dose of the Ducks' quick-strike ability in the second half.

In fact, Oregon outgained USC, 474-262.

The Ducks ran for 209 yards — below their season average of 291.8 yards.

But Oregon passed for 265 yards — above their season average of 206.5 yards.

Quick hits

USC leads the series against Oregon, 38-18-2 Barkley connected with nine USC receivers, completing 26 of 34 passes for 323 yards and four scores.

Staff writer Mike Hiserman contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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