Sunday, October 9, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Usc 27, Oregon State 19 -- Otton Helps Trojans Regroup -- New Quarterback Gives Usc Big Lift


CORVALLIS, Ore. - Former Tumwater High quarterback Brad Otton, starting in place of injured Rob Johnson, passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns yesterday as USC regrouped from last week's upset loss to Oregon and beat Oregon State 27-19.

Keyshawn Johnson caught six passes for 139 yards for the Trojans (2-1, 3-2).

USC fell behind 13-2 in the first quarter, then scored on four straight possessions enroute to its 21st straight victory over the Beavers (0-3, 1-4).

Freshman quarterback Tim Alexander, who chose Oregon State over Nebraska last spring, replaced injured starter Don Shanklin and rallied the Beavers, rushing for 117 yards in 17 carries. But he injured his left shoulder on a 31-yard run to the USC 14 with 7:15 to play.

Three plays later, Alexander's replacement, Rahim Muhammad, fumbled and USC's Quincy Harrison recovered at the Trojan 7-yard line, the only one of seven Oregon State fumbles the Beavers didn't recover.

Oregon State got the ball once more, but Muhammad was sacked at the USC 44 as time ran out.

Johnson sprained his right ankle in last week's 22-7 loss to Oregon, and watched from the sidelines as Otton, a 6-foot-6 sophomore transfer from Weber State, completed 13 of 21 passes without an interception. USC was sacked nine times last week, but only once by Oregon State.

The Beavers, who haven't beaten the Trojans since 1967, scored the first two times they had the ball. Shanklin's 64-yard pass to Cameron Reynolds set up the first touchdown, with Shanklin fumbling the ball into the end zone and teammate Sterling Latu recovering.

But the conversion kick was blocked, USC's Micah Phillips picked up the ball and ran 70 yards for the 2-pointer.

Oregon State scored again on J.J. Young's 34-yard run to put the Beavers up 13-2 just 6 1/2 minutes into the game before the Trojans got their offense moving.

USC settled for a 23-yard field goal on its next possession, then mounted two long touchdown drives in the second quarter. Otton's 1-yard TD pass to Tyler Cashman and Shawn Walters' 2-point conversion run tied the score at 13-13.

Otton's 31-yard screen pass to Rodney Sermons gave USC the lead for good, 20-13, with 2:12 left in the half. Sermons' 1-yard plunge on fourth down made it 27-13 with 10:29 left in the third period.

Alexander, a highly recruited player from Florida in his first substantial playing time, gained 57 yards on seven carries and completed a 17-yard pass during an 80-yard drive that cut the lead to 27-19.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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