USC's Javorius Allen finds chances to break away against Arizona

USC's Javorius Allen finds chances to break away against Arizona
USC running back Javorius Allen scores on a 34-yard carry during the first quarter of Saturday's game against Arizona. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

USC running back Javorius Allen, who struggled to break tackles beyond the line of scrimmage in the first four games, continued his recent breakaway exploits Saturday night against Arizona.

Allen ran for a career-best 205 yards in 26 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 34 yards in the first quarter, 48 yards in the second, and one yard in the third quarter.


Coach Steve Sarkisian said before last week's game against Arizona State he wanted Allen and fellow tailback Justin Davis to break more tackles after they crossed the line of scrimmage.

Allen responded with a 53-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that gave USC a nine-point lead against the Sun Devils. But Arizona State came back for the win.

Against Arizona, USC trailed, 3-0, in the first quarter when Allen broke free for his first touchdown. Arizona pulled to within 7-6, but Allen increased the lead with his 48-yard scoring run. He finished the first half with 106 yards in eight carries.

Allen entered Saturday night's game with 576 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns.

Sarkisian wanted more activity from defensive linemen other than Leonard Williams.

He got it Saturday night.

"When it's an obvious passing situation, we should be good enough to pin our ears back and go get the quarterback," Sarkisian said last week, adding, "Third-and-longs, two-minute drills, end of games. That's where I definitely want to see us improve."

With USC holding a 14-6 lead near the end of the first half, and Arizona threatening at the Trojans' 15-yard line, junior Claude Pelon sacked quarterback Anu Solomon on third down.

It was the first sack for Pelon, who transferred to USC from Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. On the next play, Pelon blocked a field-goal attempt to end the first half.

Heidari sidelined

USC kicker Andre Heidari did not play because of a groin injury, USC announced.

Alex Wood handled kickoffs, extra points and field goals. He converted two extra points in the first half.

Wood also stepped in for Heidari during the 2012 season. He made eight extra points but did not attempt a field goal. Heidari has made six of eight field-goal attempts.

Saturday was the second consecutive game that USC was missing a special teams starter.


Long snapper Zach Smith did not play against Arizona State because of a concussion. Smith played Saturday.

Scroggins a captain

Former USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins was among Arizona's captains for the coin toss.

Scroggins, who played at Lakewood High, left USC after the 2011 season and transferred to El Camino College. He passed for 1,148 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012 before transferring to Arizona.

Scroggins has completed one of two passes for nine yards.

Powell turns on speed

Sophomore linebacker Quinton Powell made a possible touchdown-saving play in the first quarter.

Arizona's DeVonte' Neal fielded a punt and started up the right sideline in front of Arizona's bench. He then cut back and appeared to have an open field to the end zone.

But Powell chased down Neal, holding him to a 43-yard return. Arizona eventually kicked a 32-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.