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USC vs. Hawaii: Defense leads Trojans to 30-13 victory

August 29, 2013|By Mike Hiserman
  • Hawaii running back Donnie King Jr. is upended as USC safety Dion Bailey arrives to finish the tackle in the third quarter Thursday night at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Hawaii running back Donnie King Jr. is upended as USC safety Dion Bailey… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

USC has finished off a 30-13 win over Hawaii in the season-opening football game for both teams.

USC intercepted four passes by Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham, converting the turnovers into 20 points. The Trojans also sacked Graham seven times.

The Trojans started Cody Kessler at quarterback, and he played into the third quarter, completing 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Max Wittek took over on USC's second possession of the second half and played the rest of the way. He completed five of 10 passes for 77 yards.

Each quarterback suffered from dropped passes by All-American receiver Marqise Lee inside the 10-yard line.

Lee caught eight passes for 104 yards.

USC ran for 191 yards, with converted linebacker Tre Madden rushing for 109 yards in 18 carries and freshman Justin Davis running for 74 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries.

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USC 30, Hawaii 13 (30 seconds left in fourth quarter)

Norm Chow's patience with his Hawaii quarterback, Taylor Graham, was finally rewarded with 30 seconds remaining in the game.

Graham, who has had four passes intercepted, connected with Keith Kirkwood on a 60-yard scoring pass. Hawaii then converted on a two-point conversion run.

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USC 30, Hawaii 5 (42 seconds left in fourth quarter)

Freshman running back Justin Davis just made like a hurdler on a three-yard touchdown run.

Davis has 74 yards in 14 carries. Tre Madden has 109 yards in 18 carries.

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The nights of USC quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek would both be better if Marqise Lee looked anything like an All-American receiver.

Lee has dropped two on-target passes inside the 10-yard line against Hawaii.

Wittek, under a heavy rush, just threw a bomb that hit a streaking Lee right in the numbers. That is, right in the numbers after it went right threw his hands.

Lee has eight catches for 104 yards.

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There was a time that USC's Lane Kiffin and Hawaii's Norm Chow were known as quarterback gurus.

Making a motion here to strip both of their guru status.

Chow certainly has patience -- or perhaps few choices other than junior Taylor Graham.

Graham, a transfer from Ohio State -- and let's just say that the Buckeyes are probably better off with Braxton Miller -- has had four passes intercepted, leading to 20 USC points.

Graham has completed 15 of 38 passes for 149 yards. He's also been sacked seven times.

USC's Cody Kessler and Max Wittek don't have the turnovers -- Kessler was picked once -- but neither has been very sharp.

Kessler completed 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Wittek, who has played since the second possession of the second half, has completed four of eight for 58 yards with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter.

USC is holding a 23-5 lead.

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USC 23, Hawaii 5, 13:10 left in fourth quarter

For the second time in the game, USC had the ball first-and-goal inside the five-yard line -- and had to settle for a field goal.

With freshman Justin Davis running the ball, and quarterback Max Wittek finding All-American receiver Marqise Lee three times for gains totaling 46 yards, the Trojans drove from their own 5 to the Hawaii 3 until stalling.

On first-and-goal, Davis lost two yards on a run, Wittek missed an open Randall Telfer with a pass in the corner of the end zone, and Wittek was stopped for no gain on a run.

Andre Heidari then made a 22-yard field goal.

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Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham was starting to look a little better -- but then he completed another pass to a USC defender.

This time it was Dion Bailey, who plays safety now after moving over from linebacker.

Graham has had four passes intercepted.

He has completed 11 passes to Hawaii receivers in 29 throws.

USC converted its first three interceptions into 17 points.

USC leads Hawaii, 20-5, with 3:16 left in the third quarter.

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Penalties ... injuries ... TV timeouts.

Do these folks at the USC-Hawaii game not know we have a print edition to put out?

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Max Wittek is now at quarterback for USC.

Coach Lane Kiffin played Cody Kessler the entire first half and stuck with him to start the second half after Kessler completed three consecutive passes just before halftime.

But USC's first possession of the third quarter ended in three plays -- two of them incomplete passes by Kessler.

Wittek's first series also lasted three plays -- and ended with him sacked on his back.

USC still leads, 20-5, with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.

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Cody Kessler is USC's quarterback at the start of the second half.

Coach Lane Kiffin has said he would play both Kessler and Max Wittek, but Wittek, who started two games last season, has not played.

Kiffin may be sticking with Kessler to see if he can build on the momentum he had at the end of the first half, when he completed three straight passes to move the Trojans within field-goal range.

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Some halftime numbers as USC leads Hawaii, 20-5, at Aloha Stadium:

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