Marqise Lee put on a showcase on national television, catching eight passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. Photo by Associated Press
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
USC’s 38-35 victory over Oregon looked like it was a Los Angeles high school all-star game, as some of this city’s finest were on display in that match up.
USC normally does a good job of showcasing some of this city’s best talent, and freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee (Gardena Serra) shined the brightest as he helped USC bring home the victory. Lee had a field day against Oregon’s defensive backs, as he caught eight passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. He also had six kickoff returns for 134 yards, with a long of 47. For his efforts, he was named the PAC-12 offensive player of the week.
Lee was either jumping over defenders or running around them as he played the role of Superman, which is usually reserved for sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods (Gardena Serra). Woods was banged up, but he still turned in great plays, as he caught two touchdown passes.
Junior running back Curtis McNeal (Venice) ran for 94 yards on 20 carries, and it looked like they should have ran him some more. Especially after seeing senior running back Marc Tyler fumble the ball when they could have put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter. McNeal has been USC’s best running back all season long, but for some reason they continue to feed the ball to other backs. At least now McNeal is their top back, but they should ride him to victory.
Defensively for USC, redshirt freshman linebacker Hayes Pullard (Crenshaw) had the biggest game of his college career, recording 14 tackles and two sacks. Pullard was all over the field on the defensive side of the ball, and a lot of times in Oregon’s backfield. He was named the PAC-12 defensive player of the week.
On Oregon’s side, freshman De’Anthony Thomas (Crenshaw) had big plays, but it was junior running back Kenjon Barner who was featured in Oregon’s high-powered offense.
Barner, who rushed for 123 yards on only 15 carries with two touchdowns, attended Riverside Notre Dame, but he trained with Andrew “AJ” Jackson of AThruZ Sports Training here in Los Angeles.
As for Thomas, he took a kick off back for a 96-yard touchdown. The freshman has a combined 841 yards rushing and receiving this season, with 13 touchdowns. He has also returned two kick offs for touchdowns.
As for the game, USC showed that they are one of the best in the nation, as they are now No. 10 in the AP poll. This team went through some early season struggles, but the way they are looking right now, nobody who has postseason aspirations would want to play them. So UCLA better watch out this Saturday.
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