Trojans' kids are better than all right in season-opening win

Trojans' kids are better than all right in season-opening win
Trojans receiver Juju Smith gets past Bulldogs safety Derron Smith for a big gain in the first quarter. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Outstanding performances by USC freshmen abounded in the 52-13 season-opening victory over Fresno State on Saturday at the Coliseum.

Receiver JuJu Smith and offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn and Damien Mama started for the Trojans and receiver/cornerback Adoree' Jackson and tight end Bryce Dixon also played large roles.


Smith caught four passes for 123 yards.

Lobendahn and Mama started at left and right guard, respectively. It marked the first time two freshmen offensive linemen started an opener for the Trojans.

Lobendahn, Mama and Viane Talamaivao were among the linemen that helped the Trojans rush for 277 yards, including 133 by junior tailback Javorius Allen.

Jackson caught three passes, including an 18-yard touchdown. He also broke up a pass and a returned a punt 10 yards. Dixon caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Cody Kessler in the third quarter.

Agholor starts fast

USC receiver Nelson Agholor showed why he is regarded as Kessler's top target.

The junior from Florida caught two touchdown passes and finished with five receptions for 57 yards.

Agholor scored on 10- and five-yard passes in the first quarter.

He returned three kickoffs for 43 yards.

Bowman steps up

Senior safety Gerald Bowman intercepted a pass in the second quarter.

It was the second career interception for Bowman, who transferred to USC from Pierce College before the 2012 season.

Bowman, from Philadelphia, redshirted last season after suffering a shoulder injury.

Defensive lineman Leonard Williams also had a second-quarter interception, the second of his career.


Junior linebacker Anthony Sarao got his first interception in the third quarter, sophomore Michael Hutchings in the fourth.

Good hands

Receiver Darreus Rogers was slowed during training camp because of an Achilles' tendon injury, but he looked at full speed against Fresno State.

The sophomore caught five passes for 60 yards, many of them clutch.

On the first drive, he caught three third-down passes as the Trojans drove 90 yards for a touchdown.

Rogers had receptions of nine, 17 and 18 yards to keep alive the 17-play march.

Shaw substitutes

Chris Hawkins started in place of suspended cornerback Josh Shaw and made one tackle.

Junior cornerback Kevon Seymour, the defensive player of the game in last year's Las Vegas Bowl victory over Fresno State, had three tackles.

Seymour is roommates with Shaw, who admitted to school officials that he fabricated a story about how he injured his ankles.

Seymour said he has talked to Shaw, but has not asked him about what happened.

"That's none of my business," Seymour said. "I just hope the best for him.

"Everybody makes mistakes. I'm just hoping the best for him and praying for him and things like that so things can work out for him."

Quick hits

Redshirt freshman quarterback Max Browne played for the first time and completed three of four passes for 30 yards. Browne entered with three seconds left in the third quarter and played the rest of the game. ... USC held a moment of silence for the late Louis Zamperini, the former USC distance star, Olympian and war hero. The crowd then erupted with an ovation. ... Former USC All-American Tony Boselli led the Trojans out of the tunnel before the game.

Twitter: latimesklein