No. 20 Southern Cal drops Utah, 33-17
Kedon Slovis passed for 264 yards and two touchdowns to help No. 20 Southern California record a 33-17 victory over Utah on Saturday night in Pac-12 play at Salt Lake City.
Tyler Vaughns and Erik Krommenhoek caught touchdown passes and Vavae Malepeai rushed for a score for the Trojans (3-0, 3-0 Pac-12). Parker Lewis kicked four field goals while Slovis completed 24 of 35 passes and was intercepted once.
The Utes committed five turnovers while playing their first game of the season after pulling out of contests each of the past two weeks due to COVID-19 issues. Jake Bentley came off the bench to complete 16 of 28 passes for 171 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Cameron Rising started at quarterback for Utah and was 3-of-6 passing for 45 yards and one interception. He departed with an undisclosed injury after USC’s Marlon Tuipulotu sacked him and forced a fumble at the outset of the second quarter.
Samson Nacua caught a touchdown pass and Nephi Sewell returned a fumble for a score for the Utes. Sewell also had an interception.
The Trojans held a 357-335 edge in total offense and shut the Utes out in the second half while snapping a three-game losing streak in Salt Lake City.
Slovis threw two touchdown passes and Utah committed three of the game’s five first-half turnovers as the Trojans held a 24-17 halftime lead.
Malepeai scored from the 2 after Rising’s fumble to give USC a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter. The Utes tied the score when Devin Kaufusi sacked Slovis and forced him to fumble with Sewell scooping up the ball and racing 23 yards for a score with 11:53 left in the half.
Slovis tossed an 8-yard scoring pass to Vaughns and a 10-yarder to Krommenhoek over the next six minutes as the Trojans moved ahead 24-10. Utah cut its deficit to seven when Bentley threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Nacua with 49 seconds left in the half.
Lewis kicked field goals of 24 and 43 yards in the third quarter to boost USC’s lead to 30-17.
The Utes later reached the Trojans’ 10-yard line but the 13-play, 75-yard excursion that chewed 7:42 off the clock ended without points as Bentley’s pass on fourth-and-4 fell incomplete with 9:12 remaining.
Lewis booted a 47-yard field goal with 1:04 left to complete the scoring.
–Field Level Media