View Mobile Site

Football Roundup: USC routs No. 21 Fresno St., 45-20

Football Roundup: USC routs No. 21 Fresno St., 45-20

Football Roundup: USC routs No. 21 Fresno St., 45-20

Southern California wide receiver Mar...


    LAS VEGAS — Southern California wrapped up its rocky season by rolling over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
    Cody Kessler passed for 344 yards and a bowl-record four touchdowns in the Trojans' 45-20 victory over the 21st-ranked Bulldogs on Saturday under Clay Helton, their third head coach in less than three months.
    Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor had two touchdown catches apiece, Javorius Allen rushed two more scores, and the Trojans (10-4) answered every question about their motivation by dancing on the sideline while routing a BCS contender for the storied program's first postseason victory since 2009.
    Derek Carr passed for just 217 yards and two TDs in his final game at Fresno State (11-2), which fell behind 35-6 at halftime and failed to secure the first 12-win season in school history.
    From Kessler's smooth offense to a dynamic defensive effort against Fresno State's FBS-best passing game, USC was uniformly outstanding in its only game under Helton.
    The offensive coordinator filled the one-game gap between coaches Ed Orgeron and Steve Sarkisian on the Trojans' coaching carousel, but USC picked up right where Orgeron left off after its desultory start to the season under Lane Kiffin.
    Kessler even outdid Carr, his fellow Bakersfield native and friend, setting the Las Vegas Bowl record for TD passes before halftime and finishing 22 for 30. USC scored three touchdowns in a nine-minute burst in the second quarter, and Allen clinched it with his second TD run with 4:44 to play.
    The Trojans even put on a show off the Strip: The entire USC bench twice bounced onto the field during spontaneous group dances after touchdowns, displaying the excitement and confidence so common during the Trojans' halcyon years under Pete Carroll.
    Carr, the nation's leader in yards passing and total offense, became the fourth player in NCAA history to surpass 5,000 yards passing and 50 TD passes during the game. But Carr leaves Fresno State without a bowl victory, never getting the Bulldogs moving against one of the nation's best pass defenses.
    Fresno State's two TD catches by Isaiah Burse and Davante Adams both came on short drives resulting from USC mistakes on special teams, and Derron Smith returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
    The Mountain West champions still haven't won a bowl game since 2007, losing six of their last seven.

Colorado State stuns WSU
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jared Roberts made a 41-yard field goal with 3 seconds left and Colorado State overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Washington State 48-45 on Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.
    It was a dramatic comeback to open the bowl season and came as both quarterbacks threw for close to 800 yards combined.
    With less than 2 minutes left, Colorado State's Shaquil Barrett forced Cougars running back Jeremiah Laufasa to fumble at the Cougars 33. That set up Kapri Bibbs' 1-yard run scoring and Donnell Alexander's two-point conversion run that tied it with 33 seconds left.
    Then, Washington State's Teondray Caldwell fumbled a kickoff return at the Cougars 24, setting up the winning field goal.
    Garrett Grayson threw for 369 yards and Bibbs ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns for Colorado State (8-6).

Bison to face Towson in finals
    CHENEY, Wash. — With Towson starting quarterback Peter Athens out of the game with a shoulder injury, backup Connor Frazier scored on a 1-yard run with 17 seconds left to lift Towson to a 35-31 victory over Eastern Washington in a Football Championship Subdivision semifinal game on Saturday.
     Towson will play two-time defending champion North Dakota State (14-0) in the national title game on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.
    It is Towson's first trip to the national championship, and NDSU's third.

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Please wait ...