Tre Madden goes fast forward for USC

USC running back Tre Madden breaks free for a career-long 65-yard touchdown run Saturday against Arkansas State.

USC running back Tre Madden breaks free for a career-long 65-yard touchdown run Saturday against Arkansas State.

(Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

USC tailback Tre Madden, who sat out last season because of a foot injury, made an impressive return Saturday night, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass in the Trojans’ 55-6 victory over Arkansas State at the Coliseum.

Madden, a fifth-year senior, rushed for 35 yards in seven carries in the first quarter and then broke off a career-long 65-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give USC a 21-0 lead. Madden started fast in 2013 as well. He rushed for more than 100 yards in four of the first five games before he suffered a hamstring injury that slowed or sidelined him the rest of the season.

Freshman Ronald Jones rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown in six carries. Jones scored on a 44-yard run in the third quarter.


Name game

JuJu Smith-Schuster did not wait long to make a new name for himself.

The USC receiver, who added Schuster to his name during the off-season to honor his stepfather, caught a pass over the middle from Cody Kessler and then outran and outmuscled Arkansas State defenders en route to a 61-yard touchdown pass play on the first series of the game.

Smith-Schuster, a sophomore, caught two passes for 74 yards in the first quarter. He finished with four receptions for 89 yards.

Rare feat

USC linebacker Cameron Smith did something no Trojans player had achieved since 1978. Smith became the first first-year freshman to start an opener at inside linebacker since Riki Gray (now Riki Ellison) started against Texas Tech in a 17-9 USC victory at the Coliseum.

Smith, 6 feet 2 and 245 pounds, graduated early from Granite Bay High so he could enroll at USC. He knocked down a pass by Arkansas State quarterback Fredi Knighten in the first quarter.

Hawkins steps up

Chris Hawkins’ transition to safety started well. Hawkins, a third-year sophomore who started last season’s opener at cornerback, intercepted a pass by Knighten and returned it 20 yards in the first quarter. He also recovered a fumble in the third quarter. Hawkins started the first four games at cornerback last season, intercepting a pass against Boston College, before he was supplanted by Adoree’ Jackson.

Quick hits


Keith Rivers, a USC All-American linebacker in 2007, led the Trojans onto the field before the game Linebacker Jabari Ruffin forced a fumble Defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow, a third-year sophomore playing for the first time, got a sack.