LOS ANGELES — Cody Kessler passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns and Tre Madden became the first USC player to open a season with three 100-yard rushing games since Marcus Allen in 1981 in a 35-7 win over Boston College.
Kessler and Max Wittek shared quarterback duties in USC's first two games. In last week's 10-7 home loss to Washington State, they combined to pass for just 54 yards, prompting fans to chant for coach Lane Kiffin's firing.
"We have to live with what happened last week," Kiffin said. "I'm really happy for our players and our fans."
On Monday, Kiffin announced Kessler would start against BC.
"That gave me the whole week to get prepared the way I can; a whole new confidence," Kessler said. "It was very exciting to get that rhythm. It was really unfortunate we got booed last week. At the same time, we deserved it."
The Trojans rolled up 521 yards of offense while holding the Eagles to 184. USC has allowed just 30 points in its three games.
Andre Williams, who rushed for 318 yards in BC's first two games, both wins, was held to 38 on 17 carries.
"We didn't do much on either side of the ball," BC coach Steve Addazio said. "We played a very talented team, didn't get field position and our offense stalled. But this one loss will not knock out the progress we've made."
Yellow Jackets QB has a happy homecoming
DURHAM, N.C. — Vad Lee threw for a career-high four touchdowns and ran for one as Georgia Tech routed Duke 38-14.
DeAndre Smelter caught two of the touchdowns from the Durham native, who said his house is "four minutes down the road" from Wallace Wade Stadium.
"It was probably the most emotional game because I know a lot of those guys," Lee said.
The Yellow Jackets rolled up 344 rushing yards and 469 total against the Blue Devils, who entered No. 6 in total defense in Division I-A.
"They came out in new sets; things that we hadn't practiced against," Duke defensive end Kenny Anunike said. "We've got to do better."
La.-Monroe 21, Wake 19: Tanner Price's two-point conversion pass to Michael Campanaro with four seconds left for the host Demon Deacons fell incomplete. The third touchdown pass by Kolton Browning, 43-of-68 for 315 yards, put the Warhawks up 21-13 5:38 into the second half. Campanaro tied an ACC record with 16 catches (177 yards). "It has a lot to do not with what we're doing, but how we're doing it," Wake coach Jim Grobe said. "We're a very lethargic offensive football team right now. We have no sense of urgency. This is nobody's fault but the head coach."
Pitt 49, New Mexico 27: The host Panthers, playing for the first time since a Labor Day loss to Florida State, scored touchdowns on six of their first eight series. Their defense held Kasey Carrier, whose 345 yards coming in led I-A, to 22 on seven carries. Five freshmen scored touchdowns for Pitt. One, Tyler Boyd, caught a 51-yarder and took a reverse 33 yards. "Once our offense gets rolling, I can do multiple things," he said. "It opens up way more."
Va. Tech 15, E. Carolina 10: The visiting Hokies intercepted three passes, recorded seven sacks and caused a fumble that led to the clinching safety with 1:31 left. Logan Thomas threw two touchdowns. But Tech, which lost its opener 35-10 to Alabama and committed three turnovers in beating I-AA Western Carolina 45-3, missed two field goals and an extra point. "Maybe we're getting more attractive as the year goes along," coach Frank Beamer said. "We're not pretty right now."
Syracuse 54, Wagner 0: Terrel Hunt replaced an ineffective Drew Allen and threw five first-half touchdowns against the visiting I-AA Seahawks. Coming off losses to Penn State and Northwestern, coach Scott Shafer earned his first win. "I didn't think about it too much until they dumped the Gatorade on me," he said. "It feels great. Let's get No. 2 as soon as possible."