Tailback Justin Davis gives a solid effort in USC’s loss at Oregon

USC running back Justin Davis tries to avoid the tackle of Oregon linebacker Danny Mattingly in the first half Saturday.

USC running back Justin Davis tries to avoid the tackle of Oregon linebacker Danny Mattingly in the first half Saturday.

(Steve Dykes / Getty Images)

On a day when USC’s defense fell apart against Oregon’s high-powered attack, tailback Justin Davis provided a bright spot for the Trojans.

Davis rushed for a career-best 141 yards in USC’s 48-28 loss Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

“It feels good, but … it didn’t really mean anything since we got the loss,” he said.

Davis, who had 16 carries, gained 105 yards in the second half.


On one play in the first half, Davis kept his legs moving and pulled a pile of defenders more than 10 yards, with the help of offensive linemen pushing and pulling him along, for a 24-yard gain.

“I had a great O-line,” he said. “They’re smart enough to keep pushing.”

Freshman Ronald Jones II had 56 yards in 14 carries, including a 12-yard touchdown.

Adoree’ Jackson scores

Adoree’ Jackson returned a punt for a touchdown for the first time in his career, adding to a resume that includes touchdowns scored on a pass reception, interception and kickoff return.

Jackson’s 41-yard return on a ball that was kicked from the end zone pulled the Trojans to within 10 points late in the third quarter.

“We had great blocks by everybody on the front line and it just gave me a lot of room to make a play,” he said.

Chris Hawkins makes play

USC safety Chris Hawkins stopped Oregon on the Ducks’ first possession by intercepting quarterback Vernon Adams’ pass in the end zone.

It was Hawkins’ second interception this season.

Hawkins, a sophomore, also made three tackles.

Tyler Petite catches touchdown pass

USC freshman tight end Tyler Petite caught his first touchdown pass.

Petite caught a 12-yard pass from Cody Kessler early in the second quarter to tie the score, 14-14.

“There were some opportunities throughout the season, but I think especially in that magnitude of a game, it was really good for me,” he said. “Granted, it didn’t really go the way that we wanted it to but at the time it was play that my team needed. ... That’s all I can ask for.”

Petite also had a six-yard catch. He has 13 receptions this season.

Getting a start

Sophomore linebacker Olajuwon Tucker and sophomore offensive lineman Chris Brown started for the first time.

Tucker started in place of injured Cameron Smith. He made a team-best nine tackles, including 2 ½ for loss.

Brown started in place of Viane Talamaivao. The line helped the Trojans rush for 186 yards, but Kessler was sacked five times.

Kessler completed 30 of 41 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns.

Steven Mitchell Jr. caught seven passes, De’Quan Hampton six. Both were career bests.

Quick hits

The Trojans were penalized 12 times for 124 yards. ... Kicker Alex Wood did not play because he did not pass concussion-clearance protocol, a USC spokesman said. Sophomore Matt Boermeester handled kickoffs and extra points. ... USC went on the field carrying the flags of the United States and France. The Trojans also wore helmet stickers of the two flags. ... Tailback Tre Madden, safety Leon McQuay and Talamaivao made the trip but did not play.