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USC Sports

Darreus Rogers of USC gaining confidence with touchdown catches

Darreus Rogers

USC receiver Darreus Rogers reaches for the end zone as he is tackled by UCLA defensive back Nate Meadors on a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second half.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

USC receiver Darreus Rogers has produced highlight-reel plays two weeks in a row.

So the junior might be primed for more in Saturday’s Pac-12 Conference title game against Stanford at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Rogers has been replaying in his mind the spectacular touchdown he scored against UCLA.

“The catch was nice but the touchdown was better,” he said Tuesday.

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Rogers, 6 feet 2 and 200 pounds, leaped for a reception near the five-yard line, then put one hand on the turf and extended his other arm so that the ball crossed the goal line.

“I finally got a chance to show my ability,” he said. “When I came down [with the ball] I saw I was four or five yards away from the touchdown and I said, ‘I’m pretty tall, so if I stretch my arms I think I can get in.’”

Rogers, who was sidelined or slowed because of a hamstring injury for part of the season, also made a leaping touchdown catch against Oregon. His recent play has given the Trojans another option opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Rogers has 22 receptions, two for touchdowns.

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“It’s good timing for me to show I can be an impact player and another threat on the other side of JuJu,” Rogers said. “Every time my play comes, I’m just thinking about making another big play.

“Now, it’s starting to come naturally…. My confidence is sky high right now.”

Twitter: @LATimesklein


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