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USC falls to Washington State, 10-7

September 07, 2013|By Mike Hiserman
  • USC safety Leon McQuay, left, tries to strip the ball from Washington State punt returner Leon Brooks, who fumbled it out of bounds in the first quarter of the Trojans' 10-7 loss Saturday.
USC safety Leon McQuay, left, tries to strip the ball from Washington State… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

USC's streak of 15 consecutive wins in home openers is over.

Washington State defeated the Trojans, 10-7, at the Coliseum in what was also a Pac-12 Conference opener.

USC was held to less than 10 points for only the fourth time in 143 games.

The Trojans' final five possessions ended this way:

Blocked field goal, missed field goal, failed fourth-down play, punt, interception.

USC (1-1) wasted a 150-yard rushing performance by tailback Tre Madden, who carried 32 times.

USC's defense came up with three first-half turnovers, but a couple of big interceptions by Washington State's Damante Horton proved the difference.

He returned the first 70 yards for a touchdown. He made the second in USC territory late in the game, setting up a game-winning 42-yard field goal by Andrew Furney with 3 minutes 5 seconds left in the game.

Washington State improved to 1-1.

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The fourth USC play was worse than the first: it WAS intercepted.

Max Wittek tried to throw to Darreus Rogers found the hands of Washington State corner Damante Horton instead, at the USC 37.

He returned the ball to the 32.

Cougars with the ball and the lead.

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USC takes over at its own 12 with 2:58 left in regulation.

First play: A Wittek pass toward Nelson Agholor that was nearly intercepted.

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Washington State 10, USC 7, 3:05 left in fourth quarter

Hey, the scoreboard works!

Andrew Furney has drilled through a 42-yard field goal to put Washington State in the lead.

There was really only one play that moved Furney into position -- a 49-yard pass play from Connor Halliday to Dom Williams that started as a short screen pass.

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Wrong about Tre Madden.

USC did try to get him the ball, but quarterback Max Wittek missed him with a pass, then Madden was stuffed on a one-yard gain, then Wittek tried to find Marqise Lee with a third-and-9 pass that fell incomplete.

Lee, an All-American last season, has taken the ball by pass or run 10 times in the game, and gained 23 yards.

Washington State takes over at its own 15 with 6 minutes 18 seconds left in regulation.

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As bad as USC's offense has been, the Trojans' defense has been just that good.

On consecutive Washington State pass plays, USC nearly came up with interceptions on the first two plays, then Morgan Breslin sacked Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday for a loss.

USC has the ball back at its own 38 with 7 minutes 16 seconds left in regulation.

The guess here is that Tre Madden is going to get the ball -- a lot.

He has run for 143 yards in 30 carries.

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So Marqise Lee finally catches a couple of passes from Max Wittek.

Don't get excited Trojans fans. His three catches on the last drive went for a total of 13 yards.

Worse, Lee cost USC a first down when he caught a pass seven yards downfield on a fourth-and-seven play, then jumped back a yard trying to break a bigger play.

Instead, he was swarmed under and the Trojans were stopped a yard short.

Still 7-7 with a little more than 8 minutes to play in regulation.

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It's the start of the fourth quarter at the Coliseum in Los Angeles and USC and Washington State are tied, 7-7, in a Pac-12 Conference football opener.

Game high/lowlights so far:

USC's Tre Madden has run for 102 yards in 22 carries. The USC defense has three turnovers.

Washington State, despite those turnovers, has a 164-131 edge in total offense.

USC kicker Andrew Heidari has missed two field goals. The first was blocked, the second, from 43 yards, was wide left.

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Starting its second drive of the half near midfield, USC has come up empty again.

And quarterback Max Wittek still hasn't gotten off a pass.

Washington State helped, too. Cougars freshman Daquawn Brown was called for pass interference on a Wittek pass that floated high and long in the general direction of Marqise Lee.

Deone Bucannon picked off the floater, but Brown was called for roughing up Lee before the ball got there.

The call gave USC a first down at the Washington State. And three Tre Madden runs moved the ball to the 24.

But then Wittek tossed the ball backward to Lee, who turned what might have been a five-yard loss into a two-yard gain -- officially counted as a run, and on the next play Wittek was sacked for a 10-yard loss.

Next up, the third-and-17 call: a handoff to Madden, who gained five yards.

That brought Andre Heidari on for a 43-yard field-goal try, which was wide left.

Heidari is now on the USC bench, head buried in his hands. TV cameras care catching many USC fans in the same pose.

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USC looked like it had a little more energy with Max Wittek taking over at quarterback on the Trojans' first drive of the second half.

Except it still didn't lead to any points.

Tre Madden busted off a couple of nice runs and the Trojans benefited from a 15-yard facemask penalty that gave them an automatic first down. And still, nothing.

Andre Heidari tried a 32-yard field goal, but his kick was low and swatted down by Kalafitoni Pole -- the very Cougars player who gave USC a boost with the facemask penalty.

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