GAMEDAY College Football

Southern Cal 30, San Jose State 7

By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Drake London caught a career-high 13 passes for 144 yards, Greg Johnson returned a late interception 37 yards for a touchdown and No. 15 Southern California pulled away for a 30-7 victory over San Jose State.

Kedon Slovis passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns, with more than half of his completions finding their way to the dominant London. Slovis also hit Tahj Washington with a 29-yard touchdown pass in the first half, but the rest of USC's passing game struggled until the Trojans' final surge.

Erik Krommenhoek made a sliding 20-yard TD catch with 2:07 to play for USC, which outscored the Spartans 17-0 in the fourth quarter.

USC still hasn't lost a home opener played in the Coliseum in the 21st century, but this victory largely was another version of the underwhelming starts that have been common under seventh-year head coach Clay Helton. The Trojans led the defending Mountain West champions just 13-7 heading into the final period, but the USC defense capped its impressive day by stopping San Jose State on downs near the goal line with 7:20 left.

Parker Lewis kicked three field goals for USC in the California schools' first meeting since 2009. USC improved to 5-0 against San Jose State, which hasn't beaten a ranked team since 2013 and hasn't beaten a Pac-12 team since 2006.

Nick Starkel passed for 308 yards and Tyler Nevens rushed for a touchdown for the Spartans, who trounced Southern Utah in their season opener last week.

The Trojans' passing game trailed behind the rest of the team throughout the first three quarters at the 98-year-old Coliseum, where fans watched their team for the first time since November 2019.

A coverage sack on third-and-goal forced USC to kick a short field goal on its opening possession, but linebacker Drake Jackson's interception of a screen pass then set up the Trojans' offense for a jump-ball TD pass to Washington, the transfer receiver from Memphis.

San Jose State managed only one drive longer than 20 yards in the first half, and that one ended in a missed 29-yard field goal. The Spartans finally scored when Nevens' 2-yard TD run capped a 74-yard drive midway through the third quarter.

After the Trojans settled for a third field goal early in the fourth, they got breathing room when Johnson returned an underthrown pass untouched for a score with 11:42 to play. The three-year starter's interception was the third of his career and his first since 2019.

Southern Cal athletics press release


Scoring Summary
First Quarter SJSUUSC
USC FG 9:40 Parker Lewis 27 yard field goal 0 3
USC TD 7:01 Tahj Washington 29 yard TD pass from Kedon Slovis (Parker Lewis Extra Point) 0 10
Second Quarter SJSUUSC
USC FG 4:38 Parker Lewis 23 yard field goal 0 13
Third Quarter SJSUUSC
SJSU TD 7:25 Tyler Nevens 2 yard TD run (Matt Mercurio Extra Point) 7 13
Fourth Quarter SJSUUSC
USC FG 13:03 Parker Lewis 30 yard field goal 7 16
USC TD 11:42 Greg Johnson 37 yard interception return for TD (Parker Lewis Extra Point) 7 23
USC TD 2:07 Erik Krommenhoek 20 yard TD pass from Kedon Slovis (Parker Lewis Extra Point) 7 30
Team Stats
  San Jose State USC
First downs 18 25
  Rushing 3 9
  Passing 14 14
  Penalty 1 2
3rd Down Efficiency 3-14, 21% 8-15, 53%
4th down efficiency 1-2, 50% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 19-67 34-160
Passing Yards 308 263
Return Yards 0 83
Completions-Attempts-Int 24-46-2 25-36-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 2-14
Punts 6 5
Fumbles Lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties - Yards 10-93 4-42
San Jose State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
N. Starkel 24 46 308 0 2
USC Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
K. Slovis 25 36 263 2 0
San Jose State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Nevens 15 58 3.9 1
N. Nash 2 6 3.0 0
K. Robinson 2 3 1.5 0
USC Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
K. Ingram 15 86 5.7 0
V. Malepeai 14 65 4.6 0
K. Slovis 4 7 1.8 0
D. London 1 2 2.0 0
San Jose State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
I. Hamilton 6 74 12.3 0
D. Deese Jr. 3 63 21.0 0
C. Ross 3 47 15.7 0
S. Olson 3 32 10.7 0
M. Miller 1 29 29.0 0
K. Robinson 3 26 8.7 0
D. Mazotti 1 19 19.0 0
J. Braddock 2 15 7.5 0
T. Nevens 2 3 1.5 0
USC Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. London 13 144 11.1 0
T. Washington 4 56 14.0 1
E. Krommenhoek 2 26 13.0 1
M. Epps 1 19 19.0 0
J. Wolfe 2 11 5.5 0
K. Ingram 1 5 5.0 0
V. Malepeai 2 2 1.0 0
San Jose State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
USC Interceptions
Player Int Yards
G. Johnson 1 37
D. Jackson 1 14
San Jose State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
W. Hart 6 284 47.3
USC Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Griffiths 5 228 45.6
San Jose State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
USC Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Nixon 1 15 15.0
San Jose State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
USC Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Christon 1 17 17.0
San Jose State Missed FG
Player Length
M. Mercurio 28
USC Missed FG
Player Length




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