The USC football team has an outside shot of winning the PAC-12 South and kept the hopes alive as the team handled the Cal Bears with ease on Saturday.
The USC football team went into Memorial Stadium to face the California Golden Bears needing to retain some positivity in a season that may be the last of the Clay Helton era. The Trojans won in a laugher, 41-17, improving to 7-4 on the season while seemingly helping Helton to fight another day.
The Trojans overmatched the Golden Bears with their talent outscoring them 31-7 after both teams were tied 10-10 in the second quarter. The Trojans took it to the Golden Bears racking up 400 plus total yards on offense and were able to score in five straight series at one point in the second half.
Player of the Game
Kedon Slovis tore up the Golden Bears secondary throwing completing 29 of 35 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns. It was Slovis’ best game of the season as he set career-high in QB rating (218.0).
Slovis set the tone early when the Golden Bears scored on their first possession, Slovis lead the Trojans right back going 75 yards in 3:50 to tie the game. Slovis was 7 of 7 on pass attempts and twice kept the drive going avoiding the Golden Bears pass rush to make completions before connecting on 18-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
The rest of the game was much the same as the Cal defense was never able to get any real pressure on Slovis and the rout was on.
USC Defense Steps Up
Facing an incompetent offensive team the Trojans defense kept up their part of the bargain by letting the Golden Bears get their yard on the ground, but the Trojans defense would not let the Golden Bears get going in the air.
The Trojans only allowed the Golden Bears to throw for 128 yards as neither Chase Garbers or Devon Modster could muster anything in the air. Garbers the starter was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury and Modster offered little in resistance. The Trojans intercepted Modster twice and kept and only allowed him to put together one scoring drive when the game was way out of reach.
With the win, the USC football team now has a chance to sweep the California schools of the PAC-12 if they defeat the UCLA Bruins in their final game of the season. The Trojans have an unlikely path to a PAC-12 title game berth still if the Utah Utes slip up in their final two games, but that is unlikely.
If the Trojans defeat the Bruins then they will have salvaged a season that looked destined for worse but it will remain to be seen if Helton will return next season.