USC notebook: Vavae Malepeai provides first 100-yard rushing performance of season

PASADENA — — USC had battled to get any energy entering the run assault the previous two games, culminating in a pathetic five-yard rushing performance last week versus Washington State.

But running back Vavae Malepeai offered some much-needed balance for the 16th-ranked Trojans in Saturday’s 43-38 gain UCLA.

The senior hurried 19 times for 110 lawns as well as provided a critical 10-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter as USC placed its comeback.

  • Running back Vavae Malepeai # 29 of the USC Trojans celebrates with colleagues after competing a goal against the UCLA Bruins in the second half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Dish in Pasadena on Saturday, December 12, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG).

  • Running back Vavae Malepeai # 29 of the USC Trojans runs for a touchdown versus the UCLA Bruins in the second half of a NCAA Football video game at the Rose Dish in Pasadena on Saturday, December 12, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG).

  • Running back Vavae Malepeai # 29 of the USC Trojans competes yardage versus the UCLA Bruins in the first fifty percent of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Dish in Pasadena on Saturday, December 12, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG).

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” Vavae I assumed tipped up substantial,” head trainer Clay Helton claimed. “I thought he made the difficult yards, specifically in the red zone.”

At initially the Trojans appeared to be staying clear of calling runs. USC exclusively passed the ball in its initial drive of the video game. After that when the Trojans did call work on the first play of the 2nd drive, it went for a six-yard loss.

However after that Malepeai, who is the very first USC rusher to gain 100 yards this period, began to find a groove, ending the initial quarter with 4 straight carries for 27 lawns, bouncing up from the grass each time eager for the next snap.

Prior to that, USC had not had much success relocating the sphere against UCLA’s defense, which placed 3rd in the Pac-12 in hurrying backyards permitted getting in the day. Yet with Malepeai able to make the Bruins appreciate the run, USC was able to get some traction.

” Versus a really excellent defense, a defense that we thought was very much boosted from last year,” Helton said. “I thought he did and the offending line did an excellent work. Offensive line-wise, likewise I need to claim did a nice task of standing up in pass pro, too. I believed they gave the time that Kedon [Slovis] needed to be effective.”

Malepeai’s big game was essential, since no person in addition to him was doing a lot on the ground. USC’s three various other running backs integrated for 9 lugs for seven yards.

Redshirt student Markese Stepp really did not get his first bring of the game up until midway via the 4th quarter, just when Malepeai had exited because of an unrevealed injury.

INJURY RECORD

USC linebacker Ralen Goforth returned from a two-week absence because of a mid-foot strain. The student linebacker finished with 9 overall tackles, 1.5 for loss.

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