clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Notes: Kessler Into the USC Record Books

Notes and tidbits from Saturday's thriller in Tucson.

USC celebrates Buck Allen's first touchdown.
USC celebrates Buck Allen's first touchdown.
Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles

It took a missed field goal, but the USC Trojans defeated Arizona 28-26 Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. Buck Allen had a career day while Leonard Williams was a beast on the defensive line.

Here's some interesting game notes from the USC vs. Arizona matchup:

  • Cody Kessler finished 20-for-30 for a 66.7 completion percentage. That dropped his season completion percentage to 69.1 percent, which is still good enough for ninth best in the nation. UCLA's Brett Hundley has the country's best completion percentage at 72.2 percent, but Middle Tennessee State QB Austin Grammer is the only passer with a higher percentage (70.6) than Kessler that has attempted more passes this season than Cody's 207 attempts.
  • There have been some great quarterbacks in USC's history and Cody Kessler is starting to add his name with those signal callers in the record books. He is now ninth in USC history with 380 career completions and ninth with 4,452 career passing yards
    Cody Kessler throws on run

    Cody Kessler makes a throw on the run. (Shotgun Spratling)

  • Cody Kessler attempted 13 passes before Jonathan McKnight, little brother of former Trojan Joe McKnight, ended his streak of 190 pass attempts to start the season without an interception.
  • With Cody Kessler's INT, Oregon and Washington are the only two teams remaining that haven't thrown an interception.
  • The Trojans doubled their turnover total on Saturday after turning the ball over twice. However, USC's four turnovers this season are tied for fourth-best in the nation. Of course, that's also only fourth-best in the Pac-12.
  • Claude Pelon joined the sack club and the blocked field goal club on back-to-back plays to end the first half. Pelon is one of six USC players to record a sack this season and joins Delvon Simmons as the only other player to block a kick.
  • Leonard Williams was credited with two sacks of Arizona's Anu Solomon. However, one may end up being changed and going to Delvon Simmons, who clearly pulled down Solomon before Williams jumped on top. Williams was actually the third player to get to Solomon on the play as Antwaun Woods also was in on the play.
    Leonard Williams sack

    Here's Leonard Williams first sack of Anu Solomon. (Shotgun Spratling)

  • Leonard Williams also forced a second quarter fumble when he blasted Terris Jones-Grigsby inside the USC 10-yard line on a run play to the right. Jones-Grigsby did not return to the game after the hit. The fumble stopped yet another opponent's red zone opportunity. USC stopped the Wildcats three of their seven trips inside the red zone and leads the Pac-12, stopping the opposition on 31.2 percent of drives inside the 20-yard line. That's 11th best in the nation.
  • USC finished with 200+ yards for the fourth time this season. Of course, Buck Allen finished with 205 all by himself -- a career-high besting the 154 he rushed for against Stanford earlier this year.
  • Buck Allen has now rushed for more than 100 yards in five of the six games this season and had more than 100 yards receiving in the sixth. He is the first USC running back with at least five 100-yard rushing games since the thunder and lightning combination of LenDale White and Reggie Bush both did it in 2005.
  • Buck Allen outside run

    USC running back Buck Allen takes a carry to the outside. (Shotgun Spratling)

  • Buck Allen also tied his career best with three touchdowns. It was the fourth time he has scored a trio of TDs in a game.
  • Buck Allen leads the Pac-12 with 781 yards rushing -- 11th-best in the nation. He also leads the conference in rushing touchdowns with seven (also 11th in the nation) and all-purpose yards with 1,059 (No. 5 in the country).
  • The Trojans were called for 13 penalties, costing them 103 yards. Arizona, on the other hand, was whistled for just four penalties and 35 yards.
  • One of those penalties, an offsides call, cost Kevon Seymour his second career interception. Seymour picked off an Anu Solomon throw near the right sideline and took it back 83 yards for a touchdown that was negated.
    Kevon Seymour INT negated

    USC cornerback Kevon Seymour pick-six was called back. (Shotgun Spratling)

  • Despite Arizona passing the ball 72 times, the USC defense managed only three pass breakups.
  • Gerald Bowman and Hayes Pullard led USC with nine tackles each. They were the Trojans' leading tacklers in the Arizona State game as well and have combined for 35 stops in the last two games. They are also the team's two leading tacklers this season with Pullard one ahead of Bowman, 44-43.
  • Subbing in for the injured Andre Heidari, redshirt sophomore Alex Wood saw his first action since 2012. He was called on to kick extra points and he was a perfect 4-for-4 to increase his career total to a perfect 12-for-12. He also had three touchbacks on five kickoffs.
    Alex Wood kickoff.

    Walk-on Alex Wood remained perfect in his USC career. (Shotgun Spratling)

  • USC suited up only 50 recruited scholarship athletes on Saturday -- 43 recruited scholarship athletes played as well as seven walk-ons and former walk-ons.
  • Former USC offensive lineman Kris O'Dowd, a Tucson native, was in attendance and participated in a divided tailgate that featured USC and Arizona fans.
    Kris O'Dowd tailgate

    Kris O'Dowd displays one of his Rose Bowl rings at a tailgate. (Shotgun Spratling)