The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 22, 2013

USC clobbers Fresno State in Las Vegas Bowl

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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Most Big 12 squads won’t shy from tough non-conference

    DALLAS — Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering. Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days, the College Football Playoff was the hot topic. On Dec. 7, the 12-member panel will announce the best four ...

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commish forecasts end of college sports as we know them

    You really have to read everything Bob Bowlsby said Monday, because kicking off Big 12 Football Media Days, all the conference commissioner did was not only predict the end of college sports as we know them, but explain with fairly ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Bowlsby:Changes come with a price

    DALLAS — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke in a reserved tone Monday. But what he said to begin the Big 12 Football Media Days news conference painted a bleak future for college athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014

Facebook