LOS ANGELES—Under sweltering heat, the USC Trojans defeated the Utah State Aggies 45-7, despite the fact that the game started in the morning. The local starting time for the contest was 11 a.m., and the Coliseum was already feeling the heat. The same could be said for the Trojans who would fire on all cylinders for the duration of this game. The early kickoff hadn’t happened since at least the 1950s, and breakfast on the gridiron was the theme of the day.
Special teams played a huge part In this game,with Michael Pittman blocking an early punt and Adoree’ Jackson returning a punt 77 yards for his third career punt return for a TD. The early blocked punt fired up the team and set the tone for the day. Coach Clay Helton said the play “gave us great momentum right off the bat.”
Quarterback Max Browne was 23-30 with two touchdowns and one interception. Sam Darnold was 5-7 for 62 yards and 2 TDs in primarily short yardage and red zone situations.
Next week, the PAC-12 schedule begins with a bang. It’s a rematch of the 2015 PAC-12 Championship, as USC travels north to face Stanford in what has become an intense, ‘REAL’ rivalry. These two programs despise one another, and this seminal matchup will be played in Primetime. What makes it real is the fact that they take turns beating each other.