Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

USC 50, Washington State 16 (final)

September 25, 2010 | 11:56 am

Lane Kiffin has accomplished something that no USC head football coach has accomplished in 59 years. Not John McKay, John Robinson or Pete Carroll.

He's won his first four games as Trojans coach. Jess Hill won his first seven games as USC's coach in 1951.

Kiffin's victories haven't come impressively, but he's won them.

USC had an easy time with Washington State today in Pullman, but still seems to have plenty to work on.

The Trojans committed three turnovers -- including two more interceptions by quarterback Matt Barkley -- and became only the second team since the start of the 2008 season to allow Washington State a first-quarter touchdown.

When USC wasn't stopping itself, though, Washington State (1-3) sure wasn't.

Barkley passed for 290 yards and the Trojans ran for 283 yards -- with three backs rushing for at least 76 yards. Allen Bradford led the way with 84 yards in seven carries, fullback Stanley Havili had 80 yards in four carries and freshman Dillon Baxter carried a game-high 15 times for 76 yards.

Havili also led USC receivers with five catches for 107 yards. He scored twice -- once on a 50-yard run on the Trojans' first play from scrimmage. The other touchdown came on a 22-yard pass from backup quarterback Mitch Mustain in the fourth quarter.

USC's defense came up with three interceptions, including two by freshman cornerback Nickell Robey.

Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel was victim of all three interceptions. He competed 24 of 37 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown. The Cougars' running game accounted for only 69 yards in 26 carries.

--Mike Hiserman

USC 50, Washington State 13 (early fourth quarter)

Reserve quarterback Mitch Mustain connected with fullback Stanley Havili for a 22-yard touchdown pass to get the Trojans past the half-century mark.

Starting QB Matt Barkley finished the game 16 of 25 for 290 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

USC 43, Washington State 13 (end of third quarter)

The only question now is whether the Trojans will avoid giving up fourth-quarter touchdowns that drive Coach Lane Kiffin crazy.

Mitch Mustain is now in at quarterback and it looks like Dillon Baxter will play the rest of the game at tailback.

The Trojans scored on their first two possessions of the second half and appear on their way to doing it again.

USC 43, Washington State 13 (late in the third quarter)

Looks like Washington State is getting worn down.

USC just drove 98 yards in 12 plays and scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Matt Barkley to Ronald Johnson.

Allen Bradford broke off consecutive 30- and 15-yard runs during a march that also included a 19-yard reception by Johnson.

Barkley has passed for three touchdowns.

USC 36, Washington State 13

USC did not waste any time asserting itself in the second half.

The Trojans went 93 yards in four plays, scoring on Matt Barkley's seven-yard touchdown pass to receiver Brice Butler.

Receivers Ronald Johnson and Brandon Carswell had consecutive 36- and 44-yard catch-and-run plays to set up the touchdown.

Mitch Mustain ran the ball for a two-point conversion.

USC 28, Washington State 13 (halftime)

USC just ran into the locker room with a 15-point halftime lead, but we're guessing Coach Lane Kiffin is not exactly thrilled.

Quarterback Matt Barkley has had two passed intercepted, tailback Allen Bradford fumbled and kicker Joe Houston just missed a 40-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the second quarter.

On the positive side, cornerback Nickell Robey has intercepted two passes, including one he returned for a touchdown. Safety T.J. McDonald also has an interception. Fullback Stanley Havili is exhibiting his full range of talents and the Trojans have blocked a punt and extra-point attempt.

But USC is not playing like a 22-point favorite.

Barkley has completed nine of 14 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and the two interceptions. Havili has rushed for 80 yards in four carries, including a 59-yard touchdown run on the Trojans' first play. He also has three receptions for 81 yards.

Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel is 15 of 25 for 142 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Houston has made only one of four field-goal attempts this season.

USC 28, Washington State 13 (late in second quarter)

Freshman tailback Dillon Baxter and senior fullback Stanley Havili carried the load during a 13-play, 62-yard scoring drive.

Junior tailback Marc Tyler finished the march with a two-yard touchdown run.

Baxter rushed the ball five times for 23 yards. Havili keyed the drive with a 16-yard gain on third and 13 at the Cougars' 32-yard line. He also had a 14-yard gain to the two-yard line.

USC 21, Washington State 13

It's getting ugly -- and we're not talking about the Trojans turning it into a rout.

Both teams are turning the ball over.

USC tailback Allen Bradford lost a fumble with 8:20 left in the second quarter, but Cougars quarterback Jeff Tuel overthrew a receiver and Trojans cornerback Nickell Robey got his second interception of the game.

USC 21, Washington State 13 (early in second quarter)

Matt Barkley's second interception just cost the Trojans.

Jeff Tuel drove Washington State 45 yards in six plays, capping it with a six-yard touchdown pass to Jared Karstetter.

The Cougars scored the play after cornerback T.J. Bryant was called for pass interference.

USC offensive lineman Tyron Smith blocked the extra-point attempt.

USC 21, Washington State 7 (end of first quarter)

There's been a little bit of everything so far.

Fullback Stanley Havili has been the impact player for the Trojans on offense, end Wes Horton on defense.

Freshman cornerback Nickell Robey gave up a touchdown but also scored one.

USC, however, has to be concerned about quarterback Matt Barkley, who passed for a touchdown but has just had a second pass intercepted today. Barkley has passed for 10 touchdowns with four interceptions this season.

USC 21, Washington State 7 (midway through first quarter)

Well, it's certainly not boring.

Freshman receiver Robert Woods caught his first touchdown pass, an 11-yard strike from quarterback Matt Barkley, who is now operating out of a no-huddle offense.

Stanley Havili set up the touchdown by catching a short pass and turning it into a 58-yard gain. Havili has touched the ball twice and has 117 multipurpose yards.

Allen Bradford was the first Trojans tailback to carry the ball. He gained seven yards.

USC was threatening to score again when defensive end Wes Hortonblocked a punt to give USC a first and goal, but Cougars safety Deone Bucannon intercepted a pass intended for Ronald Johnson.

It was Barkley's third interception of the season.

USC 14, Washington State 7 (early in first quarter)

USC freshman cornerback Nickell Robey redeemed himself.

It was Robey who got beat for Washington State's first touchdown.

But Robey just stepped in front of Cougars receiver Marquess Wilson, intercepted a pass by Jeff Tuel and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.

It was Robey's first interception.

USC 7, Washington State 7 (early in first quarter)

Give Washington State Coach Paul Wulff credit.

He watched the film of USC's season opener at Hawaii and prepared his team to come out in the same offense.

It paid off early, the Cougars taking the first possession of the game and driving 80 yards in nine plays for a touchdown that was scored on a 29-yard pass from receiver Jeffrey Solomon to receiver Jared Karstetter.

Washington State takes the early lead ... but USC's Stanley Havili lines up as the lone back on the ensuing possession and breaks off a 59-yard touchdown run to tie the score.


It's sunny and clear here at Martin Stadium.

It's also pretty empty.

Washington State's struggles, USC's unimpressive performances and the early start are all contributing factors.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect the lack of energy in the stadium has on the Trojans.

--Gary Klein, reporting from Pullman, Wash.

Photo: USC fullback Stanley Havili breaks into the Washington State secondary on a 59-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Credit: Dean Hare / Associated Press