Recap: USC vs. California
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Cody Kessler passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns as the USC Trojans held on to beat the California Golden Bears, 38-30, in a Pac-12 Conference showdown at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Thursday.
Kessler completed 31-of-42 passing for 371 yards, four scores and an interception for USC (7-3, 6-2 Pac-12), which has won back-to-back games. Nelson Agholor hauled in a game-high 16 receptions for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Javorius Allen rushed for 60 yards and caught another 49.
Jared Goff completed 29-of-47 pass attempts for 279 yards and three touchdowns for Cal (5-5, 3-5), which has dropped four of its last five contests. Daniel Lasco rushed 19 times for 86 yards and a score, while Kenny Lawler caught a team-best 86 yards in the loss.
Kessler got the scoring started early for USC, connecting with Agholor on a 10-yard touchdown strike with 9:55 to play in the first quarter.
The Trojans took a 14-0 lead with 7:27 left in the same frame, this time when Kessler hit George Farmer on a 32-yard scoring completion. The play capped a four-play drive in which USC traveled 60 yards in just over a minute.
Cal got on the board when USC's Justin Davis was caught behind the line of scrimmage and tackled in the end zone for a safety. The Golden Bears still trailed, 14-2, with 5:31 remaining in the first quarter.
But Davis made up for his safety just a few minutes later, when the tailback burst into the end zone from three yards out to give USC the 21-2 lead with 3:05 left to play in the opening quarter.
Kessler and Agholor hooked up for the second time in the first half, this one on a nine-yard scoring completion with 7:33 left in the second period. Andre Heidari booted through a 25-yard field goal for USC with 1:39 to play in the half for the 31-2 edge.
The two teams went into halftime following a Cal six-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Chris Harper with nine seconds to play. The Trojans still led, 31-9.
After an upbeat first half, only one score came from the third quarter when Lasco carried the ball in from five yards out for the Bears with 3:40 to play in the frame. The touchdown cut USC's lead to 31-16.
Kessler tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the game just under four minutes into the final quarter, this time finding Randall Telfer for 15 yards and the 38-16 lead.
Goff found Bryce Treggs on a five-yard touchdown pass with 6:36 to play in the contest, helping Cal cut the USC lead down to 15 points, 38-23.
Cal sliced the lead down to eight points, 38-30, when Goff hit Stephen Anderson for a 29-yard touchdown connection with 1:36 left to play and the time winding down. That's how the scoring would end in the game.
USC gained 450 offensive yards in the contest compared to 384 for the Golden Bears. The Trojans were able to pull out a victory despite 14 penalties for 159 yards and just one second-half score.Game Notes