Beavers sink top-ranked Trojans

CORVALLIS — It was the curse of Corvallis all over again for the Trojans.

Top-ranked Southern California visited Oregon State on Thursday night and lost 27-21. It was the second straight upset victory for the Beavers at home against the Trojans.

"I think across the board it was a case of we weren't functioning," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "We weren't playing like we normally do."

Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers helped the Beavers pull off the stunner, running for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Oregon State built a 21-point first-half lead before capitalizing on a late turnover.

Orange-clad Beavers fans rushed the field when the clock ran out after the 25-point underdogs shook up college football with a victory over a USC team that was expected to roll right through its conference straight to the national championship game.

What once seemed like an inevitability for the Trojans now seems something of a longshot.

"That was great," Rodgers said. "It was something I've never witnessed before."

The Beavers (2-2, 1-1 Pacific-10) also upset USC at Reser Stadium in 2006, when the Trojans were ranked third. The team's lone victory over a No. 1 team came in 1967, when Oregon State beat the O.J. Simpson-led Trojans 3-0.

USC has lost three of its last four games in Corvallis.

Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez's pass was intercepted by safety Greg Laybourn on the 30 with less than 3 minutes to play. Laybourn ran the ball back 28 yards to put Oregon State on the 2, and Rodgers ran in the final 2 yards to make it 27-14.

Fans carried Laybourn on their shoulders after the game.

Sanchez hit Patrick Turner with a 14-yard scoring pass with 1:19 left, but time ran out on the Trojans (2-1, 0-1).

"We weren't ready to do what we needed to do," Carroll said. "We felt like we had great preparation. Then when we were out there, it just didn't feel like it."

Rodgers' rushing yards were the most by a Trojan opponent since Vince Young ran for 200 for Texas in the BCS national championship game in 2006.

Rodgers' brother James had six catches for 36 yards and two scores for Oregon State. Lyle Moevao completed 18 of 26 passes for 167 yards and two TDs.

"They came out and competed," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said of his team. "We were respectful, but not in awe."

Sanchez completed 18 of 29 passes for 227 yards and three scores, with the one crucial interception. Tailback Joe McKnight rushed for just 10 yards against the Beavers, after gaining 105 yards in the Trojans' 35-3 victory over Ohio State.

McKnight took the loss upon himself.

"I didn't make the plays. Fumbled the ball, dropped a pass," he said. "You can't blame anybody else but me."

The game opened with drama, as USC safety Taylor Mays was called for a personal foul on James Rodgers on an 8-yard touchdown reception.

Carroll asked that the score be reviewed, because it did not look as if the ball had crossed the line. The touchdown stood, giving the Beavers a 7-0 lead.

The Beavers more than held their own through the first half, with the Trojans appearing confused about how to handle Jacquizz Rodgers, who is just 5-foot-7 and 185 pounds. He somehow pushed through USC's defensive line for a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0.

"For whatever reason we just couldn't tackle him," Carroll said. "We'd hit him in the backfield and he'd keep bouncing. Him hiding behind the line of scrimmage was very effective. We had troubles with it all day."

His big brother saw the end zone again before halftime. Moevao's pass was nearly intercepted by USC cornerback Kevin Thomas, but the ball was tipped into the hands of James Rodgers to make it 21-0.

USC had shown little vulnerability in victories at Virginia and then at home against then-No. 5 Buckeyes. But Carroll noted earlier in the week that the familiarity of Pac-10 play posed a danger.

The Beavers certainly seemed to have the Trojans figured out, holding them to 313 yards total offense. Stafon Johnson was USC's leading rusher with 48 yards. Williams had six catches for 94 yards.

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