WR Agholor makes USC history with second straight 200-yard game

Nelson Agholor finished with a career-high 16 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. His 16 catches were one short of the school record set by Robert Woods in 2011.  

Kirby Lee/Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something about facing the Cal Golden Bears that seems to bring out the best in Nelson Agholor.  

Thursday night, Cal got to see just how versatile the junior wide receiver is in USC’s 38-30 win.  

As Cal found out, Agholor’s as dangerous in the return game as he is in the passing game. Entering Thursday night, he was in the top 15 in the country in punt return touchdowns, receiving touchdowns, receptions and punt return average. He is the only player to rank in the top 12 on USC’s career receiving list and top seven on the school’s punt return list. 

Agholor spent his previous encounter with Cal burning the Golden Bears as a punt returner. He had two returns for 168 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s meeting. Thursday night he focused on the receiving end of things and finished with a career-high 16 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. His 16 catches were one short of the school record set by Robert Woods in 2011.  

By topping 200 yards receiving for the second consecutive game — Agholor had eight catches for 220 yards in last week’s win over Washington State — he etched his name in USC lore as the only Trojan to do so. Ever.

THE FOX FOUR

But following his record-setting night, Agholor wasn’t smiling. Not even a little bit.

He was stewing with only thoughts of what could’ve been against the Golden Bears.

"I am thinking about the third-down conversion that I didn’t catch," Agholor said.  

Not the catches. Not the yards. Not even the touchdowns, but the one missed conversion late in the fourth quarter, with USC up by 15 and trying to ice the game.

It didn’t cost the Trojans the game. In fact, it wasn’t a third down, it was a second down, so the Trojans had another opportunity to keep the drive alive. They couldn’t, however, because quarterback Cody Kessler was sacked on the next play.

And while Cal capitalized with a TD to make it a one-score game, USC still was able to keep alive its hopes of going undefeated in November, improving to 2-0 in the month.

"That’s all he talked about at the end of the game," wide receivers coach Tee Martin said of the missed conversion. "But, that’s him and I really like that not only just for Nelson but for the young guys too."

Striving for perfection is just how Agholor’s wired. It’s part of the reason why Kessler believes he’s the best wide receiver in the country.

Agholor certainly made a good argument Thursday night.