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USC vs. Washington State: Trojans 39, Cougars 36, fourth quarter

USC takes on Pac-12 foe Washington State after the Trojans took a disappointing loss to Texas. Washington State remains unbeaten in their first three games. The match up with USC will be their first conference game of the season. USC will look to bounce back from their 1-2 start to turn their season around.

Blocked field goal allows USC to defeat Washington State 39-36

USC defeated Washington State 39-36 by holding the Cougars scoreless with a blocked field goal in the fourth quarter.

Washington State charged down the field to USC’s 21-yard line but was shut down by the Trojans, forcing the field goal attempt. As Blake Mazza prepared to take the kick, the Trojan special team unit that had struggled so far this season blocked the kick, allowing USC to hold onto a narrow lead and win the game.

JT Daniels completed 17 of 26 pass attempts for 241 yards and three touchdowns, while the Trojans tallied 113 rushing yards in the down-to-the-wire win.

JT Daniels, Tyler Vaughns’ connection lets USC take 39-36 lead

On a drive that saw JT Daniels connect with Tyler Vaughns, USC scored a touchdown to take a 39-36 lead in the fourth quarter.

USC got in position to score on the five-play, 56-yard drive when Daniels completed a 21-yard pass to Vaughns down the sideline, putting the Trojans on Washington State’s 13-yard line.

An 11-yard penalty against the Cougars put USC in prime position to score, and the Trojans capitalized on the opportunity when Vavae Malepeai rushed two yards for the touchdown.

Because the Trojans succeeded in the two-point conversion, with a pass to Vaughns that cut through the Cougars’ coverage in the middle of the end zone, Washington State would need a field goal to tie the game.

Washington State claims 36-31 lead with touchdown pass to Easop Winston

Washington State claimed a five-point lead over USC in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to Easop Winston.

The Cougars got inside the red zone when Gardner Minshew hurled a 59-yard pass to Winston — the Cougars’ longest pass of the night. Winston leads the team with 143 receiving yards and two touchdowns in six catches.

On second-and-goal, the Trojan defense sent Minshew scrambling. But he found Winston wide open in the end zone and completed the four-yard touchdown pass.

Washington State went for the two-point conversion but came up short, as Minshew’s pass was incomplete amidst heavy coverage, leaving the Trojans trailing the Cougars 36-31.

USC takes 1-point lead with touchdown pass to Amon-ra St. Brown

JT Daniels completed a pass to his high school teammate Amon-ra St. Brown, and St. Brown bolted for the touchdown, giving USC a 31-30 lead over Washington State to start off the fourth quarter.

St. Brown’s 30-yard play was the climax of a nine-play, 64-yard drive that saw Daniels complete three of his five passes. Stephen Carr contributed 11 yards in three rushes, leading the Trojans with 70 rushing yards in six carries.

The touchdown pass was Daniels’ second completion to St. Brown, who has 38 yards in two receptions. Daniels has completed 16 of his 24 pass attempts for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

Michael Pittman Jr. turns reception into 50-yard play for touchdown

JT Daniels connected with Michael Pittman Jr. in a pass to the left, and Pittman took off, turning the catch into a 50-yard play to score a touchdown.

The score left USC trailing Washington State 30-24 early in the second quarter. It was Pittman’s second catch of the game, giving him 72 yards and a touchdown in two receptions.

Daniels completed both of his pass attempts in the drive, the first an 8-yard throw to Amon-ra St. Brown. Daniels has completed 12 of 18 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

Max Borghi darts 13 yards for rushing touchdown to start second half

Washington State opened the second half by extending its lead over USC to 30-17, with a 13-yard touchdown run by Max Borghi.

Aside from a pair of incomplete passes to Easop Winston, the Cougars made a smooth run to the end zone in their 11-play, 75-yard drive. Gardner Minshew connected with Winston for an 18-yard pass, the longest of his five completions in the drive.

After making two runs for 16 yards in the first half, the score was Borghi’s first rushing touchdown of the game.

Washington State failed to complete the extra-point attempt because of a fumble.

USC ends half with field goal, trails Washington State 24-17

Michael Brown hit a 26-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half, leaving USC trailing Washington State 24-17 at halftime.

The Trojans nearly turned the late offensive drive into a touchdown, after USC got two yards away from the red zone with a 14-yard pass that Tyler Vaughns snagged barely in bounds.

One incompletion and two Washington State timeouts later, JT Daniels hurled a pass to Michael Pittman Jr. in the back left corner of the end zone. But the tip of Pittman’s toe appeared to graze the grass out of bounds, so the pass was ruled incomplete — a call that stood after a review of the play.

Trailing by a touchdown, the Trojans end the half after allowing Washington State 10 more plays than the USC offense to total 221 yards. The Trojans came up short on all four of their chances at a third-down conversion.

Gardner Minshew completed 22 of his 31 pass attempts for 179 yards as the Trojan defense struggled to slow Washington State. The Cougars completed four of eight third-down conversions and both of their fourth-down conversions.

Gardner Minshew rolls through USC defense for touchdown to give Washington State 24-14 lead

Gardner Minshew rolled through the USC defense for a scoring drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Dezmon Patmon. With the score, Washington State took a 24-14 lead over USC late in the second quarter.

Minslew wore down the Trojan defense with 11 plays, completing seven of his nine pass attempts on the drive to set up Washington State for the score.

Max Borghi and James Williams added a pair of rushes for 22 yards for the Cougars. Borghi has gained 24 yards in six carries, and Williams 16 yards in two carries, against the Trojans. Each player recorded his longest rush of the game in the scoring drive.

Easop Winston reaches end zone in 28-yard play to give Washington State 17-14 lead

Gardner Minshew hurled a pass down the middle to Easop Winston, who bolted to the end zone untouched for a 28-yard play, giving Washington State a 17-14 lead over USC.

Minshew completed four of his five passing attempts to finish the Cougars’ scoring drive, which saw Washington State go 75 yards in six plays. The touchdown completion to Winston was Minshew’s longest passing play of the night.

Following the drive, Minshew completed 15 of his 22 passing attempts against the Trojan defense for 126 yards. Winston leads the Washington State receivers with 62 yards in three catches.

JT Daniels connects with Tyler Vaughns for USC touchdown

JT Daniels connected with Tyler Vaughns in the edge of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown pass, giving USC a 14-10 lead in the second quarter.

The Trojans only needed three plays to accomplish the score. Velus Jones put USC inside Washington State’s 30-yard line with a 44-yard grab — his longest catch of the season.

The following play saw Daniels fumble the football, only to recover it and throw a hurried incomplete pass to Vaughns. The Trojans also gained 21 yards from a pair of Cougar penalties.

But on the final play of the drive, Daniels and Vaughns connected, and the Trojans broke ahead of Washington State after giving up the lead just a minute before.

Washington State takes lead over USC with 4-yard rushing touchdown

Washington State opened the second quarter by taking a 10-7 lead over USC with a rushing touchdown.

In a scoring drive that took 7:01, USC blocked two of Gardner Minshew’s passes but gave up 10 yards with a pair of offside penalties. The Cougars were patient against the Trojans, their longest play of the drive a 10-yard pass as they made their way 59 yards down the field for the score.

Washington State makes 50-yard field goal to trail USC 7-3

Washington State got on the board in the middle of the first quarter, with a 50-yard field goal by Blake Mazza, allowing the Trojans to maintain a 7-3 lead.

Washington State started the seven-yard drive on USC’s 40-yard line, after a personal foul by Damon Johnson during the Trojans’ punt gave the Cougars 15 yards.

But USC’s defense held firm, allowing a two-yard and five-yard completion before blocking Gardner Minshew’s pass and forcing the long field goal attempt, allowing USC to hold onto a lead.

USC scores touchdown on opening drive with explosive runs

Behind explosive runs from Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai, USC powered to the end zone on its opening drive against Washington State, taking a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Carr put USC in scoring position when he broke through the Cougars’ defense on USC’s 24-yard line and bolted 50 yards — his longest rush of the season. From there, Malepeai took over with three straight rushes, delivering the Trojans their first touchdown with a three-yard run.

The rushing touchdown was Malepeai’s fourth in his career and gave USC a lead just 2:04 into the game. The Trojans did not attempt any passes on that 75-yard drive.

How USC and Washington State match up

Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II throws a pass during the second half against Eastern Washington on Sept. 15.
(Young Kwak / Associated Press)

USC (1-2, 0-1) vs. Washington State (3-0, 0-0)

Friday, 7:30 p.m., Coliseum. TV: ESPN. Radio: 710.

Marquee matchup

USC offensive line vs. Washington State defensive front: For a USC offensive line that features three senior starters in center Toa Lobendahn, left guard Chris Brown and right tackle Chuma Edoga, Friday night’s game against Washington State represents 60 minutes of gut-check time. In the first two games, the line struggled with pass protection and left the team’s freshman quarterback vulnerable too often. Against Texas, JT Daniels had more time to pass, but USC could not get anything going on the ground, finishing with a jaw-dropping minus-five yards rushing. The Trojans desperately need the line to figure out where its communication issues lie and get on the same page so that USC can bring a more balanced attack and relieve pressure on Daniels to do everything. Washington State brings a stingy front that has helped the Cougars rank third nationally in total defense. They have given up 98.7 yards rushing a game. USC can hope that the Cougars are due for a reckoning because of their soft schedule — at Wyoming, San Jose State and Eastern Washington.

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