CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Finally winning at Reser Stadium after a long drought, the USC Trojans lifted interim coach Ed Orgeron to their shoulders in celebration.
Southern California defeated Oregon State 31-14 Friday night in Corvallis for the first time since 2004, and in the process became bowl eligible after a rocky start to the season.
Javorius Allen ran for 133 yards and three touchdowns and Marqise Lee returned from a knee injury and had five catches for 105 yards and a score for Southern California (6-3, 3-2 Pac-12. ) Cody Kessler threw for 247 yards and a touchdown and Silas Redd ran for 140 yards.
It was the third win in four games under Orgeron, who took over when the Trojans dismissed Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29 after opening the season 3-2.
"Great job of coming into a hostile environment and really never letting it affect us as much as it has in the past," said Orgeron, who also took a turn conducting the USC marching band after the victory. "There was a belief in the locker room, at halftime, during the game."
Oregon State's Sean Mannion threw for 277 yards and a touchdown, but also threw three uncharacteristic interceptions in the loss, the second straight for the Beavers (6-3, 4-2) after a six-game winning streak.
Two of Mannion's interceptions came in the red zone, and Oregon State had a field goal blocked and missed another.
"That's too much," coach Mike Riley said of the errors. "You're not going to overcome that."
Mannion, who went into the game leading the nation with an average of 408 yards passing, looked slightly off against the Trojans. He was sacked eight times last weekend in the Beavers' 20-12 loss at home to No. 6 Stanford.
Mannion hit favorite target Brandin Cooks with a 43-yard pass on the opening series and the Beavers were helped by a pass interference call, but Trevor Romaine's 46-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
The Trojans took over on the 29 and, on the first play from scrimmage, Kessler hit Lee with a 71-yard touchdown pass to put USC up 7-0.
Lee, last year's Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver, was questionable going into the game because of a left knee injury that has sidelined him for two of the last three games.
The Trojans went up 14-0 on Allen's 9-yard scoring run late in the first quarter.
Oregon State closed the gap with Mannion's 27-yard touchdown pass to Cooks. On the next series, Ryan Murphy intercepted Kessler's pass and ran back 41-yards to even it at 14 with 9:29 to go in the half.
Allen, a sophomore who had scored two touchdowns this season going into the game, put USC back on top with an 18-yard run and the Trojans led 21-14 at halftime.
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