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Game Notes: Cody Kessler and Defense Ranked Nationally

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Notes and tidbits from Saturday's win.

Cody Kessler continued his accurate passing.
Cody Kessler continued his accurate passing.
Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles

USC defeated Oregon State 35-10 last night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum thanks to a great defensive effort and Cody Kessler's efficient 24-for-32 night with 261 yards and two touchdowns.

Kessler and the defense continue to be steady forces and that's why they both feature prominently in these USC vs. Oregon State game notes:

  • Cody Kessler completed 75 percent of his passes. He now has completed 72.0 percent of his passes this season. Kessler is now sixth in the nation in completion percentage. Oregon's Marcus Mariota leads the country at 74.0 percent.
  • Cody Kessler has now thrown 132 pass attempts this season. He still has not thrown an interception.
  • USC is one of six teams that has not thrown an interception this season. Washington and Oregon have also yet to throw an INT.
  • The Trojans have only turned the ball over twice this season -- fourth-best in the nation.
  • Before Su'a Cravens pick-six Saturday, the last USC interception return for a touchdown was by Josh Shaw at Hawai'i in 2013
  • Su'a Cravens also recorded his first career sack.
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    (Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles)

  • Thanks, in part, to seven interceptions, USC has the seventh-best turnover margin in the nation.
  • The USC defense is holding teams to a 25.5 percent third-down conversion rate, which is sixth-best in the country.
  • The Trojans also have the sixth-best passing efficiency defense at 85.43.
  • USC has not allowed a passing touchdown this year. Oregon State had not allowed a passing touchdown prior to Cody Kessler's pair.
  • The USC defense held Sean Mannion to his career low for passing yardage (123) in a start.
  • Freshman Bryce Dixon had two catches against Oregon State. He is averaging 22.75 yards per catch on his four career receptions.
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    (Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles)

  • Oregon State's losing streak at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum continued. The Beavers haven't beaten USC since 1960 -- 23 consecutive losses.
  • Kris Albarado kicked a season-long 57-yard punt in the first quarter.
  • Seattle Seahawks linebackers Michael Morgan and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith led the Trojans out of the tunnel. They were both wearing customized "USC Hawks" with the number "14."
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    (Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles

  • Also in attendance were Morgan and Smith's USC teammates Tony Burnett and Brandon Carswell.
  • Former Trojan defensive lineman Frostee Rucker was also in attendance on the sideline.
  • There were a number of famous Trojans in the building as the 2014 USC Hall of Fame inductees were honored at halftime, including NBA star Harold Miner, Golden Spikes Award winner Mark Prior and NFL defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who received the largest ovation from the crowd.
  • On the sideline, USC president Max Nikias was chumming it up with actor Sylvester Stallone.
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    (Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles