11/21/20 SALT LAKE CITY --The Utah Utes had their 11-games home winning streak snap after the visiting USC Trojans beat them 33-17 in a Pac-12 Conference showdown. It was Utah's first game of the season due to the Cov-19 pandemic canceling games.
USC's defense was the star of the game, forcing the Utes to commit five turnovers to give the Trojans' offense excellent field position. Utah's Jake Bentley had to replace their starting quarterback Cameron Rising, who transfer from Texas, was injured in the first quarter after being strip-sacked by Marlon Tuipulotu.
Bentley completed 16 of his 28 passes for 171-yards one touchdown and threw two interceptions. Ty Jordan led Utah in rushing, carried the ball ten times for 43-yards.
USC's quarterback Kedon Slovis didn't look sharp during the first quarter but settled down after that and completed 24 of his 35 passes for 264-yards two touchdowns, and one interception. Vavae Malepeai led the Trojans rushing with 20 carries for 70-yards and one touchdown.
Utah scored in the first quarter after Jadon Redding kicked a 36 -yard field goal to give them a 3-0 lead, but USC would tie the game 3-3 after Parker Lewis kicked a 35-yard field goal. The Utes drove to the Trojans' 27-yard line looking to score, but Cameron Rising pass was pick-off by Drake Jackson (OLB) to end the threat.
The Trojans took the lead 10-3 in the second quarter when Malepeai scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Utah's defense got into the scoring when Slovis was sacked and fumble the ball, and the Utes' Nephi Sewell recovered the ball and scored from 23-yards out to tie the game 10-10.
USC's head coach Clayton Helton stress how important it would be for the Trojans to stop Utah's running game if they were going to beat them on the road.
"At all costs, stop the run," Helton said. "Once we did that, our pass rush forced throws that were interceptions, got sacks and fumbles. We were in the backfield all night."
USC would regain the lead 17-10 after Tyler Vaughns scored on an 8-yard touchdown run. Moments later, during the Trojans' next possession, Slovis threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Er Krommemhoek increased their lead to 24-10.
USC had another opportunity to put more points on the board after driving to Utah's 29-yard line, but Slovis threw an interception to Utah's Nephi Sewell(LB). After the turnover by USC, Utah would go into halftime trailing 24-17 after Redding threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to his wide-receiver Samson Nacua.
The Trojans held the Utes scoreless in the second half, and after Lewis kicked a 24-yard field goal, 43-yard field goal in the third quarter, and a 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter helped the Trojans get their second win on the road to improve their record to 3-0 in the Pac-12 Conference South. For more photos from this game, click on the link below. All of the photos are by Omer Khan. #usctrojansfootball #utahutesfootball #usc #ncaafootball #vavaemalepeai #connermurphy #kendonslovis #jakebentley #pac12south #tgsportstv1