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USC-Utah game isn't one for (Vegas) books

At least one sports book takes a six-figure bath when the Trojans originally failed to cover the 8 1/2-point spread before a late return touchdown is eventually counted and they have to pay out again.

September 10, 2011|By Gary Klein and Baxter Holmes
  • USC receiver Robert Woods scuffes with Utah's Ryan Lacy in the third quarter Saturday at the Coliseum. Utah was called for a 15-yard penalty on the play.
USC receiver Robert Woods scuffes with Utah's Ryan Lacy in the third… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

USC's 23-14 victory over Utah sent Las Vegas sports books into a tizzy Saturday night.

The game originally ended with USC winning, 17-14. But two hours after the game, the Pacific 12 Conference overruled game officials who had not allowed a last-second touchdown by USC's Torin Harris after a blocked field-goal attempt.

Contacted about the finish by The Times, a supervisor at the MGM Mirage Sports Book said, "That cost us huge. We needed USC to cover the 8½ and when they didn't allow that touchdown, that killed us."

That was around 10 p.m.

Informed the score had been officially changed, the supervisor said: "I haven't got that information.

"Wait. We're just getting it now."

The switch, he said, made for a six-figure loss for his sports book.

"Now we lose double," he said, "because we'd already cashed out. We can't collect from people we already paid."

Line steps up

The defensive line is regarded as perhaps USC's best position group.

On Saturday, the unit played to its billing, coming up with several key plays.

End Nick Perry and tackle George Uko deflected passes on consecutive plays in the second quarter and DaJohn Harris deflected a pass in the third. Perry also sacked Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn on a third-and-11 play to end a threat early in the fourth quarter.

Wynn, who was pressured throughout the game, completed 23 of 46 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown.

Heidari gets three

USC moved to upgrade its special teams after last season by forsaking the traditional walk-on route and signing Andre Heidari to a scholarship.

The freshman from Bakersfield did not attempt a field goal in the opener against Minnesota, but he came through on his first college try Saturday against Utah, kicking a 47-yard field goal to give USC a 3-0 lead.

Grimble growing up

USC tight end Xavier Grimble had a game of highs and lows.

The redshirt freshman, who had a key drop in USC's narrow 19-17 victory over Minnesota last week, caught five passes for 66 yards, including a 36-yard reception in the third quarter. The play helped set up his nine-yard touchdown reception that gave USC a 17-7 lead.

However, Grimble also fumbled in the third quarter, setting up a Utah touchdown.

Safety net

USC safety T.J. McDonald came up with several big plays for the Trojans.

In the first quarter, the junior recovered a fumble by Utah running back John White at the Utah 20-yard line, setting up a Marc Tyler touchdown that gave USC a 10-0 lead.

On the next possession, Utah drove from its 20 to USC's 25. But on fourth and one, McDonald stuffed receiver Dres Anderson for no gain. "It was a defensive battle," McDonald said. "We've just got to finish."

Nick PerryGeorge UkoDaJohn HarrisJordan Wynn

Andre Heidari

Xavier Grimble

T.J. McDonald

John WhiteMarc Tyler

Dres Anderson

Martin Coleman

Louis Zamperini

Times staff writer Lance Pugmire contributed to this report.

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