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USC turns big plays into a big win over California, 62-28

November 09, 2013|By Gary Klein and Mike Hiserman
  • Trojans receiver Nelson Agholor breaks into the clear on a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown against California in the second quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. Agholor had a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Trojans receiver Nelson Agholor breaks into the clear on a 93-yard punt… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)

All the usual good-game indicators went out the window for California at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The Golden Bears ran nearly 100 plays without a turnover, had 483 total yards, and held a time-of-possession edge over USC of more than 11 minutes.

And got crushed, 62-28 -- the most points scored by the Trojans since they defeated Washington State, 69-0, on Oct. 18, 2008.

All because USC running back Jarvorius Allen and receiver Nelson Agholor insisted on playing a game of “Can You Top This?”

Agholor touched the ball seven times and had 205 all-purpose yards, a record 168 yards on punt returns he took back for touchdowns, the first covering 75 yards and the second 93.

Allen also touched the ball seven times. He gained 192 yards and scored three touchdowns – on runs for 43 and 79 yards and a short pass he took 57 yards.

For good measure, freshman Ty Isaac got a chance to play and gained 87 yards in 11 carries, including touchdown runs of four and 37 yards.

USC improved to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in Pac-12 Conference play. The Trojans are 4-1 under interim Coach Ed  Orgeron.

Cal fell to 1-9 overall and 0-7 in conference games under first-year Coach Sonny Dykes.

Agholor established a school record for punt return yards, surpassing Mike Garrett, who had 162 yards and scored twice on punt returns against Cal in 1965.

USC also tied an NCAA record with three punt returns for touchdowns. The other was turned in when Soma Vainuku blocked a Cal punt and Josh Shaw snatched it out of the air and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown.

Allen finished with 135 yards rushing in six carries as USC ran for 256 yards even though top back Silas Redd was limited to 19 yards in six carries before leaving the game in the first half with an injured right knee.

Quarterback Cody Kessler completed 14 of 17 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He was replaced midway through the third quarter by Max Wittek, who completed three of four passes for 73 yards.

Jared Goff completed 34 of 48 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns for Cal.

Here's a game recap:

USC goes three and out and hurts its per-play average, netting just one yard.

Ty Isaac, in his bid to reach triple digits in rushing, lost two yards in two carries and is down to 88 yards.

Cal has run 90 plays.

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USC 62, Cal 28 (5:08 left in fourth quarter)

Credit Cal's offense. The Bears are still playing hard.

Jared Goff hit Kenny Lawler with a three-yard scoring pass to finish off a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

The bad news for the Bears:

USC, which is averaging better than 10 yards a play, now gets the ball.

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USC 62, Cal 21 (10:34 left in fourth quarter)

Well, about freshman Ty Isaac...

He has scored on a 37-yard run and now has 90 yards in nine carries.

USC's 62 points is the most the Trojans have scored in a game since they defeated Washington State, 69-0, on Oct. 18, 2008.

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USC held off a Cal scoring threat when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

USC takes over from its own 13, and the only thing in doubt is whether fourth-string tailback Ty Isaac will become the fifth Trojans running back this season to hit 100 yards.

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USC 55, California 21 (end of third quarter)

USC reserves are getting an opportunity for playing time as the Trojans try to get out of Northern California without major harm heading into next week's game against Stanford.

Tailback Silas Redd has not played since early in the first half and receiver Marqise Lee caught only one pass for 13 yards.

USC has outgained Cal, 394 yards to 349.

Javorius Allen has rushed for two touchdowns and also scored on a pass play. Nelson Agholor returned two punts for touchdowns.

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USC 55, California 21 (3:36 left in the third quarter)

California running back Khalfani Muhammad, a former standout at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High, scored on a seven-yard run for the Golden Bears.

Muhammad, a freshman, has rushed for 49 yards in eight carries. He also has one reception for four yards.

Cal quarterback Jared Goff has completed 26 of 35 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

USC has outgained Cal, 396-310.

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USC 55, California 14 (7:22 left in the third quarter)

Freshman tailback Ty Isaac scored his first USC touchdown on a four-yard run.

Isaac also had an 18-yard gain on a drive directed by back-up quarterback Max Wittek.

Cody Kessler is apparently done for the game. He completed 15 of 18 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

USC has gained 378 yards.

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USC 48, California 14 (10:42 left in the third quarter)

Javorius Allen scored on a 79-yard touchdown run to keep the rout going.

Allen also has scored on a 43-yard run and 57-yard pass play.

Allen, who scored three touchdowns last week against Oregon State, has rushed for 135 yards in six carries.

The Trojans have rushed for 160 yards.

USC quarterback Cody Kessler has completed 14 of 17 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

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USC 41, California 14 (halftime)

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