USC cornerback Kevon Seymour expects to be busy against Oregon State

USC cornerback Kevon Seymour, left, chases down Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly during a game last month. Seymour expects to see plenty of passes thrown his way against Oregon State on Friday.
(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Kevon Seymour welcomes the challenge.

On Friday night, USC’s sophomore cornerback anticipates that Oregon State’s high-powered passing attack will target and test him.

“I want the opportunity,” Seymour said Tuesday. “I’m like, ‘Please go at me.’ That’s how I make a name. That’s how I get better.”

Oregon State, led by quarterback Sean Mannion, is the top passing team in major-college football, averaging 420.8 yards per game.


Mannion has passed for 30 touchdowns, with only three interceptions.

Junior receiver Brandin Cooks has a national-best 13 touchdown catches and also ranks first nationally with 10.6 receptions and 157 yards receiving per game.

Richard Mullaney has averaged 15.9 yards per catch and scored three touchdowns.

Seymour, a former standout at Pasadena Muir High, is seeking his first interception for a defense that has picked off 10 passes, including three in last week’s 19-3 victory over Utah.

“I have to get on the board,” Seymour said. “I had a few chances last week and didn’t capitalize.”

Josh Shaw, a junior who has two interceptions, will start for USC at the other cornerback spot. So Oregon State is expected to challenge the 6-foot, 175-pound Seymour.


“That’s what all corners want,” Seymour said. “It’s a good thing.”

Recognition factor

End Leonard Williams is among 16 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, presented annually to college football’s outstanding defensive player.

The 6-5, 290-pound Williams was the only underclassman among the semifinalists announced Tuesday. Three finalists will be announced Nov. 25, the winner Dec. 12.

Williams, a freshman All-American last season, has a team-leading 54 tackles, including 11 tackles for losses and five sacks.

With Williams and junior end George Uko clogging the middle, junior linebacker J.R Tavai has thrived lately.

Tavai, playing in place of injured Morgan Breslin, had a team-best 11 tackles and two sacks against Utah. It was the second time in three games that the junior from Redondo Beach made at least 10 tackles.

Tavai said he has benefited from lining up in a standing position, rather than a three-point stance he was accustomed to as down lineman.

“You get to see more,” he said. “You also get to pass rush against one guy. So, thank you for Leonard and George taking up the middle and putting me on the outside.

“I thank them all the time.”

Dion Bailey preparing

Junior safety Dion Bailey was sidelined for the first half against Utah because of shoulder and hip injuries, but he suited up at halftime and played the final two quarters after safety Su’a Cravens suffered a groin injury.

After the game, Bailey said he had received a painkilling injection before playing.

Asked whether he would require another injection to play Friday, he said, “Hopefully not. My parents don’t really like me doing that, so, hopefully, I heal naturally throughout this week and I’m as close to 100% as I need to be for me to play without it.”

Quick hits

Receiver Marqise Lee (knee) did not practice, and Coach Ed Orgeron said the All-American remains questionable for the game against Oregon State. Cravens did not practice and is questionable, Orgeron said. ... Receiver Nelson Agholor returned to practice after sitting out Monday.

Twitter: @latimesklein