After a breakout regular season in a loaded USC offense, Nelson Agholor put on a show against Fresno State in his team's 45-20 win at the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Trojans expected a tough battle against the Bulldogs early on, but some huge plays by Agholor turned it into a blowout in the first half. With the team holding onto a 7-6 lead in the first quarter, quarterback Cody Kessler found his wide-open receiver down the field for a 40-yard touchdown.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com praised Agholor's route-running ability to get open on that play:
Rare to see a young WR like Agholor display refined route running skills. Some guys never master the nuances of pace, stemming&head fakes..— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) December 21, 2013
Of course, the young player was far from finished. He added to his total with a nice lob from Kessler in the second quarter that was miraculously caught in the back of the end zone.
While the play was initially called incomplete, the replay confirmed that the receiver had pinned the ball on this shoulder. This was truly a remarkable play, as the defensive back all over the play.
Besides these two big catches, Agholor contributed in a number of ways all over the field. College football analyst Lisa Horne points out a big move he made after the catch in the first half:
Nelson Agholor made a DB with Troy Polamalu hair look just plain silly there. Ankle-breaking move.— Lisa Horne (@LisaHorne) December 21, 2013
Although he had a relatively quiet second half, he finished the day with five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Only a fumbled punt ruined what was an otherwise spectacular game.
This type of effort shows why he has the potential to be a big-time player going forward at USC.
At 6'0", the youngster does not have elite height, but he has proven the ability to catch virtually anything in his area and make things happen once the ball is in his hands. He led the team with 824 receiving yards in the regular season, and he has the chance to accomplish a lot more next season.
Based on what he showed against Fresno State, Agholor is well on his way to stardom in Southern California.
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