Her­bert leads No. 7 Ducks past Tro­jans

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By GREG BEACHAM

LOS AN­GE­LES — Justin Her­bert passed for 225 yards and threw three touch­down passes to Juwan John­son in the se­cond half, and No. 7 Oregon re­cov­ered from a slow start to cruise to its eighth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory, 56-24 over South­ern Cal­i­for­nia on Satur­day night.

Fresh­man Mykael Wright re­turned a kick­off 100 yards for a touch­down shortly af­ter Brady Breeze re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 32 yards for a score late in the se­cond quar­ter for the Ducks (8-1, 6-0 Pac-12). Oregon erased an early 10-0 deficit by scor­ing a touch­down af­ter each of four turnovers by USC fresh­man quar­ter­back Ke­don Slo­vis dur­ing a 19-minute stretch span­ning half­time.

Her­bert and re­ceiver Jay­lon Redd rushed for touch­downs in the first half for Oregon, which re­mained on track for the Pac-12 North ti­tle and a good shot at the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off de­spite a rough start at the Coli­seum. John­son, the Ducks’ se­nior Penn State trans­fer, had seven catches for 106 yards af­ter mak­ing just six pre­vi­ous re­cep­tions all sea­son.

Her­bert threw his se­cond in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son and didn’t look sharp early, but the se­nior NFL prospect went 21 for 26. Oregon com­mit­ted 12 penal­ties for 157 yards and had two de­fen­sive play­ers ejected, yet re­mained per­fect since its sea­son opener af­ter its de­fense thor­ough

ly rat­tled Slo­vis. Slo­vis threw for 264 yards

and three touch­downs on a USC-record 57 pass at­tempts, but his three in­ter­cep­tions and a fum­ble erased the Tro­jans’ solid start. Slo­vis and Air Raid of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Gra­ham Har­rell sur­passed Todd Mari­novich’s sin­gle-game record of 55 at­tempts for the Tro­jans, set in 1989.

Michael Pittman Jr. and two-sport fresh­man Drake Lon­don caught first-half touch­down passes for USC (5-4, 4-2), which fell out of first place in the Pac-12 South with its third loss in five games. Touted fresh­man Kyle Ford made his first ca­reer catch for a 20yard touch­down with 3:11 to play.

Pittman’s younger brother, Oregon re­ceiver Mycah Pittman, caught a TD pass from Tyler Shough with 6:50 to play.

Be­fore the se­cond-quar­ter avalanche, Oregon didn’t look sharp.

Af­ter Slo­vis hit Lon­don for a TD on the Tro­jans’ open­ing drive, Her­bert threw an in­ter­cep­tion di­rectly to USC’s Isa­iah Pola-Mao, end­ing Her­bert’s streak of 133 straight passes with­out a pick, the se­cond-long­est in the na­tion. Her­bert had thrown just one in­ter­cep­tion in his pre­vi­ous 362 pass at­tempts in Pac-12 road games dur­ing his four-year ca­reer.

The Ducks fi­nally got mov­ing in the se­cond quar­ter af­ter Verone McKinley III in­ter­cepted a pass that ric­o­cheted off Lon­don’s hands. Pola-Mao was ejected for tar­get­ing dur­ing the en­su­ing drive, which ended with Her­bert’s 10-yard TD run, his first of the sea­son.

Oregon de­fen­sive tackle Austin Faoliu was ejected for un­sports­man­like con­duct dur­ing an en­su­ing long drive by USC, but Slo­vis fum­bled on a play from the Ducks 3 while try­ing to avoid a sack.

Oregon re­sponded with a 92-yard TD drive abet­ted by two ma­jor penal­ties on USC and capped by Redd’s TD run. Breeze got his pick-6 mo­ments later on a ter­ri­ble throw by Slo­vis.

As­so­ci­ated Press

LO­CAL HERO — USC wide re­ceiver Tyler Vaughns, left, makes a catch over Oregon cor­ner­back Mykael Wright, an AV High grad, dur­ing the first half of an NCAA col­lege foot­ball game on Satur­day in Los An­ge­les. Wright also re­turned a kick­off 100 yards for a TD.

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