Utah hadn’t beat USC in Los Angeles since 1916 but the Utes dominated the Trojans in a 42-26 win on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Oregon State ended a 61-year losing streak at the Coliseum and now Utah gets a win there for the first time and hands USC its third straight conference home loss.
“The guys fought to the end, but that’s not good enough, not at all, especially for USC,” USC interim head coach Donte Williams said. “We won some early downs on first down, but still got them in some third-and-manageable situations, and they capitalized.”
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising finished 22-of-28 for 306 yards and three touchdowns. Tavion Thomas led the Utes on the ground with 16 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown.
USC opened the scoring with a 28-yard field goal by Parker Lewis. Utah answered with an 11-yard run by Brant Kuithe and a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. USC took the lead back when Kedon Slovis hit Drake London for a 20-yard touchdown. London leaped over a defender to get into the end zone and give USC a 10-7 lead in the second quarter.
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising capped a 5-play, 75-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Money Parks. After forcing a USC punt, Utah drove down the field and took a 21-10 on a flea flicker with 10 seconds left in the first half. Rising hit a streaking Devaughn Vele for a 37-yard touchdown.
The Utes opened the third quarter with a 43-yard touchdown run from Tavion Thomas. USC tried to stay in the game but Slovis was intercepted on fourth down. Utah capitalized on the turnover with a 17-yard touchdown keeper by Rising that extended their lead 35-10.
“It’s always a good feeling, especially just being from this area, and they didn’t really recruit me,” Rising said. “So it was a special one to get, especially after 1916 was the last win here. So that’s pretty amazing.”
Vavae Malepeai scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead but Utah came right back with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Rising to Dalton Kincaid. Slovis added a 41-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Epps with 52 seconds left in the game.
Slovis finished 33-of-53 for 401 yards and London had 16 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown. London fell one reception short of tying the USC record for catches in a game of 17 set by Robert Woods in 2011.
“I’m extremely proud of our football team,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Players played with a great competitive spirit tonight, passion, energy, you name it, we had it. Great job by our assistant coaches with game planning and getting things set, but again the players are the ones who executed and deserve all the credit.”
USC gets a much needed bye week before they head to South Bend for a matchup with rival Notre Dame on Oct.23.