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USC knocks Utah from unbeatens

USC linebacker Cameron Smith celebrates his 54-yard interception return for a TD, one of three INTs for the freshman in the game.

Los Angeles Times/TNS

USC linebacker Cameron Smith celebrates his 54-yard interception return for a TD, one of three INTs for the freshman in the game.

LOS ANGELES — Cameron Smith returned the second of his three interceptions 54 yards for a touchdown as Southern California knocked No. 3 Utah from the unbeaten ranks with a 42-24 victory Saturday night.

Ronald Jones, Justin Davis and fullback Soma Vainuku rushed for scores to help the Trojans snap a two-game skid and earn a win for interim coach Clay Helton in his debut game at the Coliseum.

Cody Kessler passed for 264 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score, while JuJu Smith-Schuster had eight catches for 143 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Britain Covey caught two TD passes for the Utes, whose eight-game winning streak ended.

Smith, USC's dynamic freshman linebacker, led a stellar defensive performance by picking off Travis Wilson's throws and making three returns for a combined 122 yards, including his scoring romp down the sideline 1:07 before halftime. He's the first USC player with three interceptions in a game since Jason Oliver in 1991 against Penn State.

USC, which lost its previous two home games to Stanford and Washington, kept Utah winless in Los Angeles since 1916.

The Trojans played their first home game since an embarrassing loss to Washington and the firing of coach Steve Sarkisian nearly two weeks ago. After Helton took over for last week's narrow loss at Notre Dame, he became the eighth straight USC coach to win his first home game.

No. 1 Ohio St. 49, Rutgers 7: J.T. Barrett passed for three touchdowns and ran for two in his first start of the season for the visiting Buckeyes, who extended their winning streak to a nation-high 21 games. Cardale Jones started the first seven games of the season before coach Urban Meyer made the switch to Barrett this week. Facing one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten, Barrett was near flawless. He was 14-of-18 for 223 yards and ran for 101 yards on 13 carries.

NO. 2 BAYLOR 45, IOWA ST. 27: Shock Linwood ran for 171 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for another score as the Bears won their 20th straight at home, the longest active streak in Division I-A. Baylor was held under 60 points for the first time in six games; the only other team with five straight 60-point games was Oklahoma in 2008. Bears quarterback Seth Russell fractured one of the bones in his neck on a 4-yard run without about 5½ minutes left. The fracture was revealed on postgame X-rays and a CT scan. He is scheduled to see a specialist this week.

NO. 7 MICH. ST. 52, INDIANA 26: Connor Cook passed for 398 yards and four touchdowns for the host Spartans. Cook fell just short of the school record of 400 yards passing, set by Bill Burke in 1999 against Michigan. The Spartans never trailed in the second half, but it was touch and go until Cook found R.J. Shelton for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:57 left for a 12-point lead. IU was outscored 24-0 in the fourth.

NO. 14 Okla. St. 58, Kansas St. 10: Backup quarterback J.W. Walsh ran for three touchdowns and passed for two for the host Cowboys, hours after a fatal crash near the stadium during homecoming festivities. Four people, including a toddler, were killed and dozens injured when a woman suspected of driving under the influence plowed a car into a crowd at the homecoming parade (story, 3A). The flag at Boone Pickens Stadium was lowered to half-staff and Cowboys players knelt down on the field and prayed before the coin toss.

NO. 17 OKLA. 63, TEXAS TECH 27: Samaje Perine ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns for the Sooners to help his quarterback, Baker Mayfield, top his old team. Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech after his freshman season in 2013 and had to sit out last year because the school blocked him from playing right away. He completed 15-of-22 for 212 yards and two touchdowns.

NO. 19 TOLEDO 51, UMASS 35: Former Plant High star Phillip Ely recovered from a poor start and threw four of his five touchdown passes in the second half as the Rockets stormed back from an 18-point deficit to win in Foxborough, Mass. Ely was intercepted three times in the first half but rebounded to help Toledo (7-0, 4-0 MAC) to its best start since 1997. Terry Swanson ran 21 times for 117 yards and a score for the Rockets, who have their highest ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 since being No. 18 in 1997.


Texas 23, Kansas St. 9: Backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes scored three touchdowns to lead the host Longhorns in game played in a heavy rainstorm. Swoopes, a 244-pound junior who started last season, is now used primarily in short-yardage situations. The Wildcats have lost four straight for the first time since 2005.

N'western 30, Nebraska 28: Clayton Thorson's 37-yard touchdown pass to Dan Vitale and Jack Mitchell's third field goal gave the visiting Wildcats an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter, and they hung on, bouncing back from consecutive losses to Michigan and Iowa in which they were outscored 78-10. The loss was the Cornhuskers fifth by five points or less. Mitchell's 27-yard field goal put NU up 30-22. The Huskers drove 75 yards in eight plays to pull within two, but Tommy Armstrong's two-point pass to Stanley Morgan fell incomplete.

Penn St. 31, Maryland 30: Christian Hackenberg passed for 315 yards and three TDs as the visiting Nittany Lions spoiled the debut of interim coach Mike Locksley, who was promoted from offensive coordinator after coach Randy Edsall was fired Oct. 11. The Terps wore throwback uniforms patterned after the 1961 team, the year in which Maryland earned its lone win over the Nittany Lions at home.

Harvard 42, Princeton 7: Scott Hosch threw for a career-high 437 yards and two TDs and ran for another score to keep the host Crimson unbeaten at 6-0, 3-0 in the Ivy League.

Richmond 59, James Madison 49: Jacobi Green ran for 236 yards on 27 carries and scored five touchdowns to help snap the host Dukes' school-record 14 game regular-season winning streak on a day ESPN broadcast College GameDay from the Harrisonburg, Va., campus to highlight the Division I-AA matchup.

USC knocks Utah from unbeatens 10/24/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 24, 2015 11:49pm]
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