Ronald Jones II rushed for 159 yards & three touchdowns as the Trojans escaped with a season-opening win over the Broncos in a game in that was much tighter than the ultimate score signifies.
Where would USC be with out Ronald Jones II? It’d be best if USC fans didnâ€™t give it some thought.
In an opener against Western Michigan on Sat. when USCâ€™s vaunted front seven seemed completely pedestrian, its special teams seemed weak, quarterback Sam Darnold seemed off & its perimeter receivers seemed toothless, Jones no less than lived as much as the billing.
He rushed for 159 yards & three touchdowns as USC escaped with a 49-31 win over Western Michigan.
His freshman running back partner, Stephen Carr, dazzled in his collegiate debut. He rushed Â solely seven times gotÂ 69 yards & two touchdowns.
The Trojans seemed like most expected them to be on the 1st drive. Ronald Jones II pummeled Western Michigan with three bruising runs. USC went 75 plays in just two minutes.
However Western Michiganâ€™s running game found little resistance in USCâ€™s front seven. The- Broncos scored twice & led until Jones scored again to tie the score before halftime.
Darnold didn’t play like a Heisman Trophy favourite, still neither did his receivers give him many open targets to look at. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 289 yardsÂ however he’d two passes intercepted & had no passing touchdowns. He did rush for one score.
Within the 2nd half, the Broncos used a gadget play to capture the lead. Quarterback Jon Wassink threw a backyard pass to Keishawn Watson, who tossed it back across the sector to Wassink. Linebacker Porter Gustin nearly intercepted the pass, & he wouldâ€™ve simply scored. Instead, Wassink took it & jogged in to the complete zone for a 27-yard score.
USC receiver Deontay Burnett made the play of the game on a third-and-17 attempt, when he made a diving, 27-yard catch. He after made aÂ 28-yard catch & run, & Darnold scored with an 11-yard run.
USC scored on the subsequent drive on a one-yard Stephen Carr run to take the lead.
However Darius Phillips modified the momentum instantly. The- damaging returner was the player USC nervous about most this current week. He just showed why: He returned USCâ€™s kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to tie the score.
Jones answered, USCâ€™s defense held, Carr scampered for a reasonably 52-yard score & Marvell Tell III intercepted a pass & returned for a touchdown to blow open a game in that when appeared too close for comfort.
Great second: USC referred to as a timeout after its last touchdown. Why? Coach Clay Helton was putting in a brand new long snapper, Jake Olson. Olson is blind. His photo was good, the point-after attempt was acceptable & Olson got an enormous ovation.
Stephen Carr has a shiny future right here. Carr used an outstanding jump cut to slide past a defender & gallop 52 yards for his 2nd touchdown. That could possibly be a decisive score. USC leads 42-31 with three:49 left within the game.
USCâ€™s defense bent still didnâ€™t break utterly. After a 48-yard run from LeVante Bellamy, USCâ€™s defense held. Josh Grant kicked a 43-yard field goal. USC leads 35-31 with four:37 left within the game.
The one thing going well for USC today is its running game. However it is rather good. Ronald Jones ran 37 yards to recapture the direct for USC, 35-28. Jones has 159 yards & three touchdowns.
Darius Phillips was the player USC frightened about most this current week. He just showed why. Phillips returned USCâ€™s kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. USC is tied with Western Michigan at 28 with 7:54 remaining in its opener.
Stephen Carr, a freshman from Fontana Summit High, has scored his 1st touchdown, & it was an cultured one. He rushed one yard to cap a 56-yard drive and provides USC a 28-21 direct with eight:07 left within the game.
If USC pulls out a success right here, keep in mind Deontay Burnettâ€™s diving 27-yard grab on 3rd & 17. The- 1st down sprung the Trojans, who marched down the sector thanks, largely, to aÂ 28-yard catch & run by Burnett. Sam Darnold scored on an 11-yard keeper to tie the score at 21. Thirty-four seconds stay within the 3rd quarter.
Western Michigan used some trickery to retake the lead. Quarterback Jon Wassink threw a backyard pass to Keishawn Watson, who tossed it back across the sector to Wassink. USC linebacker Porter Gustin came within inches of grabbing the pass for what wouldâ€™ve been a simple USC touchdown. Instead, Wassink took itÂ & jogged in to the complete zone for a 27-yard score. Western Michigan leads, 21-14, with 9:11 left within the 3rd quarter.
USCâ€™s offense has woken up. Sam Darnold used Deontay Burnett to move USC upfield & Jones punched in his 2nd touchdown of the half. The- score is tied, 14-14, with four:21 remaining within the half.
Western Michigan is encountering little resistance from USCâ€™s front seven. The- Broncos have run by means of USCâ€™s line. Quarterback Jon Wassink rushed in a seven-yard touchdown to cap a 84-yard drive. Western Michigan leads, 14-7, with 14:53 left within the 2nd quarter.
Western Michigan answers with a 59-yard drive capped off by a troublesome, four-yard run by Jamauri Bogan. He broke by way of 4 tacklers. Score is tied, 7-7.
Ronald Jones II made in that drive look very straightforward. He stunned Western Michigan for a 29-yard achieve then shrugged off an arm tackle & cruised 16 yards for USCâ€™s 1st score of the season. Jones packed on weight this off-season to be a more powerful back, & it showed. USC leadsÂ 7-Zero.
Western Michigan won the toss & elected to defer. USC will begin with the ball by itself 25-yard line.
PlayingÂ in highschool or watching from the bench, a brand new player can overlook one unchangeable fact about college football: The- dominant emotion of the game just isn’t pleasure. It isn’t school pride. There are large men on the sector making an attempt to make you mess up. Making an attempt to harm you. The- dominant emotion is worry.
Above all else, that’s whatÂ USCÂ safety Chris Hawkins remembers about his 1st begin 4 seasons ago against Fresno State.
“I used to be scared,â€� Hawkins stated after one of USCâ€™s last practices before Saturdayâ€™s opener againstÂ Western MichiganÂ at the Coliseum. â€œI was super scared. I imply, I used to be nervous. I used to be 178 pounds at the time, & I used to be 19 years of time of time old, & in that feeling was crazy being in front of all these fans. & I used to be shaking in my boots a bit bit.â€�
Hawkins, a fifth-year senior now seemed to by teammates for recommendation, provided one piece of knowledge for the eight Trojans who shall be getting in to full-time roles for the 1st time Sat.: If youâ€™re not a bit of scared before a game, one thing is wrong.
USC will march in to its opener more battle-hardened than a yr ago, when it was trampled by Alabama. Eight Trojan starters played extensively last season on offense; 9 did so on defense.
However USC has designs on far more than merely another bowl win. Within the moments after the Trojansâ€™ wild Rose Bowl success in Jan., a time frequently reserved for unabashed celebration, athletic directorÂ Lynn SwannÂ delivered a sober assessment outside USCâ€™s locker room.
“We are not there still,â€� he stated. The- success was good; nevertheless it wasn’t amongst USCâ€™s best.
USCÂ (Zero-Zero) vs.Â Western MichiganÂ (Zero-Zero),Â Sat., 2:15 p.m., Coliseum
TV:Â Pac-12Â Networks. Radio: 710 AM
USCâ€™s defensive front seven vs. Western Michiganâ€™s running game: The- defensive front has the potential to be USCâ€™s best in years of time of time. It should receive a direct test 'cause Western Michiganâ€™s running game, USC coachÂ Clay HeltonÂ stated, is among the many best the Trojans will see this yr. It’s a three-pronged attack. Jarvion Franklin, a 225-pound bruiser, rushed for 1,353 yards last season &, in accordance to Helton, is â€œgreat between the tackles.â€� Jamauri Bogan â€œis a jitterbugâ€� & LeVante Bellamy â€œis a real speed guy,â€� Helton stated. USC has 4 authentic All-Pac-12 contenders on its front: linebackers Uchenna Nwosu, Porter Gustin & Cameron Smith & lineman Rasheem Green.
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