Drake London caught a career-high 12 passes for 137 yards, Greg Johnson returned a late interception 37 yards for a landing and No. 15 Southern California pulled away for a 30-7 victory over San Jose State in its opener Saturday.
Kedon Slovis handed for 256 yards and two touchdowns, with greater than half of his completions discovering their solution to the dominant London. Slovis additionally hit Tahj Washington with a 29-yard landing move within the first half, however the remainder of USC’s passing recreation struggled till the Trojans’ closing surge.
Erik Krommenhoek made a sliding 20-yard TD catch with 2:07 to play for USC, which outscored the Spartans 17-0 within the fourth quarter.
USC nonetheless hasn’t misplaced a house opener performed within the Coliseum within the twenty first century, however this victory largely was one other model of the underwhelming begins which have been frequent underneath seventh-year head coach Clay Helton. The Trojans led the defending Mountain West champions simply 13-7 heading into the ultimate interval, however the USC protection capped its spectacular day by stopping San Jose State on downs close to the purpose line with 7:20 left.
Parker Lewis kicked three discipline objectives for USC within the California colleges’ first assembly since 2009. USC improved to 5-0 in opposition to San Jose State, which hasn’t crushed a ranked workforce since 2013 and hasn’t crushed a Pac-12 workforce since 2006.
Nick Starkel handed for 308 yards and Tyler Nevens rushed for a landing for the Spartans, who trounced Southern Utah of their season opener final week.
The Trojans’ passing recreation trailed behind the remainder of the workforce all through the primary three quarters on the 98-year-old Coliseum, the place followers watched their workforce for the primary time since November 2019.
A protection sack on third-and-goal pressured USC to kick a brief discipline purpose on its opening possession, however linebacker Drake Jackson’s interception of a display move then arrange the Trojans’ offense for a jump-ball TD move to Washington, the switch receiver from Memphis.
San Jose State managed just one drive longer than 20 yards within the first half, and that one led to a missed 29-yard discipline purpose. The Spartans lastly scored when Nevens’ 2-yard TD run capped a 74-yard drive halfway by the third quarter.
After the Trojans settled for a 3rd discipline purpose early within the fourth, they received respiratory room when Johnson returned an underthrown move untouched for a rating with 11:42 to play. The three-year starter’s interception was the third of his profession and his first since 2019.
San Jose State: The Spartans do not have USC’s pure expertise, however they realized they’ll cling with a five-star-studded program on either side of the ball, though the convention champs most likely knew it already.
USC: The Trojans’ protection and operating recreation have been strong. Their considerations are within the air, the place the receiving depth behind London is suspect: Washington had 4 catches, fellow switch Malcolm Epps had one — and no different broad receivers caught a move.
Last rating apart, the Trojans produced yet one more version of their September particular for the previous decade: An unconvincing victory that tempers the overwrought preseason expectations round this high-profile program and sure pushes it barely downward within the rankings.
San Jose State: An off week adopted by a visit to Hawaii.
USC: Stanford visits the Coliseum on Saturday evening.