For the second time in two weeks, the Trojans of Southern California squeaked out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with a win, this one even-more-so by the skin of their necks.
A huge field goal block by Matt Kalil with time winding down in the 4th quarter sealed USC’s second victory of the season over Utah, this one by a score of 17-14 (on Saturday), before conference officials officially changed the score to 23-14 after the Pac-12 uplifted a game-ending penalty on the host Trojans.
The Trojans got on the board first, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, three on a 46-yard field goal from Andre Heindari and a Marc Tyler 6-yard touchdown run.
While USC managed to jump out to an early two score advantage, they failed to stop the Utes from scoring in the 2nd, as one of the newest conference schools made it a 10-7 game with 34 seconds remaining before halftime.
After the Trojan defense forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half, Matt Barkley drove the offense 88 yards downfield in 7 plays to put USC up 17-7, connecting with Xavier Grimble on a 9-yard touchdown pass.
The Utes were not ready to go quietly, making their first Pac-12 showing a nailbiter, as John White IV, a product of local South Torrance High School and L.A. Harbor College, scored on a 1-yard run, capping a 52-yard drive and making it a 17-14 contest.
Neither team was able to muster much offense after that, and on the Utes final drive of the game, right before the blocked field goal, they were given a better shot to tie the game, as Tony Burnett was called for pass interference, but Kalil got his hand in the way before Torin Harris scampered into the end zone to close out the game.
Coming into the game, White IV and Robert Woods were two offensive players, aside from Barkley, to keep an eye on,
Barkley, the junior quarterback, threw for 264 yards on 20-of-32 passing for a touchdown and an interception, while he connected with Woods for 102 yards and no touchdowns on 8 receptions. White IV carried for 56 yards on 20 carries and the touchdown, while his quarterback, Jordan Wynn, threw for 238 yards on 23-of-46 and one touchdown. DeVonte Christopher hauled in 11 passes for 136 yards for the Utes, as the Trojan defense allowed 319 yards and 19 first downs.
Now, the Trojans prepare for Syracuse, the last of three consecutive home games, as the Orange come in off the heels of a 21-14 victory over Rhode Island.