The No. 9 USC Trojans lost their first game of the season Saturday night against the Boston College Eagles, who emerged with the 37-31 victory.
It was a rough night for the Trojans, who struggled in nearly every facet of the game. Boston College outgained USC 414 to 20 on the ground and put up 24 unanswered points to pull off the upset.
As bad as USC was on the ground, the Eagles were also unable to get their passing game going, posting just 54 yards. Meanwhile Cody Kessler threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns.
Still, it was the Boston College ground game which ruled the night and the defensive front which forced four sacks and held the Trojans to 0.7 yards per rush which prevailed.
In the fourth quarter Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy picked up large chunks of yardage with his legs, taking advantage of the gassed USC defense.
While the Eagles made their way to the goal line once again, the men of Troy stood them up and kept the game alive by forcing a field goal to extend Boston College’s lead to 13.
With seven minutes left in the game, the USC offense finally found a spark. Kessler led the Trojans down the field with improvisation as he avoided the Boston College pass rush. A 10-yard completion to Nelson Agholor put USC on the board for the first time since the second quarter and made it a one possession game.
It was Murphy who ended the game with his knockout blow of a 66-yard touchdown run.
A late touchdown from Darreus Rodgers came for naught as the Trojans failed to recover the necessary onside kick.
The Trojans struggled through three quarters, conceding 21 unanswered points to Boston College.
Though they started the game brightly enough, building a ten point lead by the end of the first quarter, in the second and third quarters the Trojans were dominated by the Eagles.
After a 51-yard screen touchdown from Javorius Allen, Boston College responded with two touchdown drives in the second quarter and one in the third.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles had USC in their back pocket, completely controlling the line of scrimmage. On three straight possessions in the second half, Boston College came up with a sack on third down to end Trojan drives.
The loss is Steve Sarkisian’s first as the Trojan head coach and the first to Boston College in USC history.