Tyler Vaughns provides some consolation for USC’s offense
By Joey Kaufman
LOS ANGELES — USC needed 13 yards.
Facing a fourth down and trailing Washington State by a touchdown late in the fourth quarter last Friday, quarterback Sam Darnold floated a pass over the middle of the field.
Tyler Vaughns, a redshirt freshman receiver, jumped between a pair of defensive backs and snagged the football. His catch gave the Trojans a first down by a couple yards.
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“It helped his confidence,” said Tyson Helton, USC’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. “And it helps Sam to know, ‘Hey, when it’s crunch time, I can go find that guy.’ So it’s something we can build off.”
Through the first month of this season, USC has searched to find consistent targets for Darnold in the passing game outside of leading receiver Deontay Burnett. Most of the options are either young or inexperienced, as eight of the 11 scholarship receivers are freshmen and sophomores.
But Vaugns looked poised to emerge as a capable threat.
“He’s ready to take that next step,” offensive coordinator Tee Martin said.
Vaughns caught a career-high six passes for 89 yards. He was among the few bright spots for USC’s offense in its loss to Washington State, when it was held to its fewest yards since its opening loss of last season to Alabama.
“It was good to see one of those young guys step up,” Darnold said. “It was awesome.”
After his 15-yard catch on […]