Portland, Oregon — The trap was set, as it had been countless times before. Another USC football squad with title aspirations is on the road to success when they make a perilous detour at Oregon State, where nothing ever seems to go as planned for the Trojans.

Although it had been ten years since they had suffered a loss here, the ghosts of those disastrous journeys continued to haunt the half-finished bleachers.

The 2006’s four awful turnovers. 2008’s Jacquizz Rodgers match Both defeats shockingly ended the Trojans’ chances of winning the national championship, leaving USC tormented by what could have been.

These heartbreaking letdowns appeared to be a perfect foreshadowing as No. 7 USC headed Saturday’s last Pac-12 trip to Corvallis with a comparable, astronomically high level of anticipation, rocketing up the polls and into the playoff conversation, only to slam into a brick wall against the Beavers.

The Trojans were able to exorcise their demons and maintain their perfect record by winning 17-14. Somehow, someway, they were able to escape the situation unhurt.

Lincoln Riley, the USC coach, remarked, “We found a solution, and it feels dang good.

Little appeared to be working for USC before its final, desperate drive. Through the first three games, an offence that seemed unstoppable struggled to move the ball. Additionally, despite a strong start to the season, quarterback Caleb Williams began to unravel.

Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison TD saves USC vs Oregon State: It Feels Damn Good

USC would never have been able to maintain its composure for as long as it did without its defence, which recorded four takeaways for the third time in four weeks. But at the end of a long, ugly night, it all came down to the star quarterback, who had one lucky opportunity to forget everything that had happened before.

Riley added, “Some days you’re not going to be at your best. It’s inevitable that certain things won’t go your way, but how you handle these situations will determine who you are. We’ve been through things when he was younger, I just reminded [Williams].

However, the drive proved perilous. One pass went awry. and still another. As his offensive linemen pushed him forward with all their might on a fourth down that could mean the difference between life and death, Williams rumbled ahead and narrowly missed the first-down marker. USC scraped its way down the field one inch at a time.

Later, with just over a minute left, Williams unleashed after spotting Jordan Addison darting along the sideline. A sprinting safety was narrowly missed by the ball, which then fell to Addison in an ideal position for a 21-yard winning score.

It was a fantastic ball that fell directly to Addison’s chest. “Touchdown. Ballgame.”

That 11-play touchdown drive was enough to defeat Oregon State (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) in the dying seconds, partly due to USC and its shrewd defence, which grabbed a fourth and final interception from Max Williams.

Riley added, “You can’t say enough about how we played defensively with the four turnovers, the huge stops, and ending the game. “You can’t, you know. Many men volunteered and persevered despite numerous obstacles. It was a courageous display.

For the fourth game in a row, USC (4-0, 2-0) did not commit a turnover, but they made multiple attempts to lose the game. Williams finished 16 for 36 for 180 yards and a touchdown, which may have been the most dreadful performance of his college career.

It’s doubtful whether USC’s offence would have been able to move the ball at all if Travis Dye hadn’t put in a herculean effort, racking up 133 yards and a touchdown in only 19 carries.

Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison TD saves USC vs Oregon State: It Feels Damn Good

The start of Saturday night was not good. Following a 36-yard rush by Dye, USC failed to score on its following three plays before failing on fourth down for the first time this year. It was also the Trojans’ first drive under Riley without a touchdown.

Their subsequent drive didn’t fare much better. While the Trojans failed to establish any sort of rhythm, Dye largely carried USC’s offence down the field by himself. Williams had only completed one of his six throws for 11 yards, while Dye had 70 yards after two drives. Denis Lynch missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, ending both USC possessions in failure.

Deshaun Fenwick quickly raced into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown, putting the Trojans in the hole for the first time this season.

USC’s usually vivacious offence appeared off-balance when it encountered its first significant amount of adversity. Williams made seemingly straightforward throws, yet they often flew high, sank into the ground, or came late and behind their intended recipients. His worst half of the season, the quarterback finished the first half just six for 18 for 64 yards.

As Eric Gentry intercepted Beavers quarterback Chance Nolan late in the second quarter, USC was momentarily spared from a devastating momentum swing. The Trojans managed just enough to put Lynch in position for a 42-yard field goal, which was the only score of the half for one of the highest-scoring offences in the country.

In the locker room, there wouldn’t be a miracle cure for USC’s offence. The Trojans kicked the ball out of bounds after they came back. The following possession ended with a turnover inside their own one-yard line. Williams took a third-down sack to force USC out of field-goal range after the Trojans managed to move the ball.

Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison TD saves USC vs Oregon State: It Feels Damn Good

Ceyair Wright intercepted Nolan, giving the Trojans the ball with only 26 yards remaining, and it required another outstanding defensive effort from USC to get back in the game. Before Dye scored on a fourth-and-two break through a crowd, they were on the verge of losing that chance as well.

It looked like the Trojans would get going after that score gave them a 10-7 lead early in the fourth. Particularly given that Mekhi Blackmon added his own pick on the Beavers’ subsequent drive after they missed a field goal. A 33-yard punt put Oregon State back in the driving seat as Williams and company again stopped inside their own five.

Jam Griffin’s 18-yard touchdown run was the result of two plays for Oregon State. It wouldn’t be enough, though, as USC’s defence tightened its grip and its offence found a way to get away.

Riley remarked, “There’s where you differentiate yourself.” No of the situation, very great teams find a solution.

Tonight, we succeeded.

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