USC football got off to another fast start this week against Fresno State in Week 3 for the Trojans on Saturday. At the half, they were leading by multiple scores; 21-10. The defense had forced another turnover coming into the half on an interception in the end zone by Tight End Malcolm Epps (yes, you read that right). That was nine turnovers on the season. Then, a tenth came in the first drive of the second half.
Solomon Byrd was shot out of a cannon and nailed Jake Haener in the backfield for a sack. The hit was so hard that the ball popped out for a fumble, and Byrd picked up his own forced fumble for the recovery. Haener, the best player on Fresno State's team, stayed down though. The hit was also so hard that he had to be carted off the field.
Haener is known for being one of the toughest players in college football, and even having a heroic performance against UCLA last year despite playing injured and in immense pain in the biggest moments of the game. It's unclear as to what Haener's injury is, but he was seen saying "I heard a pop" as he was being carted off.
USC football continued to coast to a victory after Jake Haener's injury.
USC football ended up winning the contest 45-17. After Jake Haener went down, things got even more out of hand. SC scored five plays later, and including that touchdown, outscored the Bulldogs 24-7. While the defense did a nice job on the day, only allowing 17 points, the offense was a walking highlight reel.
The charge was led by who else but QB Caleb Williams, as he completed 25 out of 37 passes for 284 yards and two passing touchdowns. He didn't turn it over once. Even better--he had a pair of rushing scores as well. The running game was unreal in general, as Travis Dye averaged 9.3 yards per carry, and Austin Jones averaged 9.2 yards per carry.
Dye carried it 11 times for 102 yards, and Jones toted the rock 12 times for 110 yards. Each scored a touchdown on the ground. Dye even chipped in three catches for 36 yards too. Jones had two receptions as well, for 16 yards. Nine different players had at least one reception. Mario Williams and Jordan Addison were tied for the team lead with six catches.
Mario had 77 yards, and Addison had 69 and a score. Epps went for a score too, giving himself a catch in the end zone on both defense and offense...The offense couldn't stop rolling, and the defense held down the fort.
Fresno State backup Quarterback Logan Fife actually did a solid job, completing 11 of 12 passes for 140 yards in his time during the game. It wasn't anywhere close to enough to keep up with SC, though, as they cruised to their third straight victory to begin the year.
With nobody ahead of them in the AP Top 25 Poll losing this week, they may not move up from their No. 7 ranking after this W, but they certainly looked like they haven't missed a beat from where they were in the first two weeks of the season.