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USC vs. Boston College: How Trojans' Loss Will Shake Up Week 4 Rankings

Published by Bleacher Report on Sun, 14 Sep 2014

It was a Week 3 of upsets across the college football slate, with a handful of Top 25 teams who recently impressed going down throughout Saturday afternoon. USC apparently didn't get the memo.The ninth-ranked Trojans, with a target fixed on their backs after upsetting Stanford last weekend, traveled to face Boston College on Saturday and fell in a 37-31 affair. Quarterback Tyler Murphy scampered for 191 rushing yards, including a 66-yard score that put the game out of reach late.It was just about as strong of a start as Steve Sarkisian could ask for, with the Trojans taking a 10-0 lead through one quarter and a 17-6 advantage early in the second.From then on, USC just flat out got outplayed.Jon Hilliman capped off a 75-yard drive with his three-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to four, and soon after the wheels fell off for USC. The Eagles got the ball just before the half, and Sherman Alston broke free for a 54-yard touchdown.With the Eagles' emergence came an offensive slump for the Trojans, who went scoreless from the first minutes of the second quarter until 4:32 was left in the final frame.In that span, Boston College upped its lead to 10 midway through the third on another Hilliman touchdown run. A field goal made it a 30-17 lead in the fourth quarter.Cody Kesslerwho posted a strong stat line of 317 yards and four touchdowns with no picksled the Trojans on two different touchdown drives late to cut the deficit to six both times, but Kessler would never get the ball with a chance to take the lead.That was thanks to Boston College's Murphy, who scampered for his first touchdown on a 66-yard run to put the game out of reach. His rushing dominance helped set the tone for a huge advantage on the ground, as ESPN's Ivan Maisel noted the massive rushing gap:Needless to say, it's far from the result USC wanted coming off one of the program's biggest victories over the past few years.The Trojans' early-season upset on the road over Stanford last weekend set the stage for them to be top-flight contenders in the Pac-12. While this isn't a conference loss and won't impact their standings, it all but squashes the chance for a College Football Playoff spot barring a slew of unlikely events.It was just the continuance of an odd Saturday, with No. 6 Georgia, No. 17 Virginia Tech and No. 21 Louisville also falling, per Fox Sports' Clay Travis:The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre wondered how many teams can still make a title run with USC biting the dust Saturday:247Sports' JC Shurburtt turned the focus on the impressive Eagles:USC got some respect in the Top 25 early on this season, and it got much, much more after proving itself against the Cardinal. But now, the Trojans have a significant mark on their resume after a poor nonconference loss to a team without a single Top 25 vote.The loss won't be enough to completely squash USC's hopes in the Top 25, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Sarkisian's squad fall somewhere in the No. 15 or 16 range after failing to keep up their momentum from the Stanford victory.As for Boston College, it's hard to imagine this victoryas impressive as it wasgetting the school into the Top 25. It's just nearly impossible to go from no votes to a spot, but there's no doubt the Eagles will be getting plenty of votes and start to position themselves to be ranked if they keep it up in ACC play.Follow Steven Cook on Twitter for more breaking news and analysis on college football and all sports.
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