Jaxson Dart threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns in relief of an injured Kedon Slovis to help Southern California roll to a 45-14 win over Washington State on Saturday in Pullman, Wash.
USC (2-1, 1-1 Pac-12) overcame a 14-point deficit to cruise to a win in the debut of Trojans interim coach Donte Williams. Clay Helton was fired on Monday, two days after the then-No. 14 Trojans were pummeled 42-28 by Stanford.
The Cougars (1-2, 0-1) jumped ahead 14-0 in their Pac-12 opener when Jayden de Laura capped an 89-yard scoring drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Travell Harris.
Washington State’s score followed a sack of Slovis, who was sidelined the rest of the game with an apparent neck injury.
Dart initially struggled, with his first drive ending when Daniel Isom intercepted a pass in Washington State territory. A second de Laura touchdown pass to Harris put the Cougars ahead by two scores.
From there, USC took over the game.
Dart threw the first of his four touchdown passes to Gary Bryant Jr., a connection of 38 yards just before halftime. The score marked the beginning of a 45-0 run.
Dart found Drake London for touchdowns of 5 and 31 yards. He also hooked up with Kyle Ford on a 36-yard strike for the latter’s first career touchdown reception.
Bryant rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter that gave Southern California its first lead. Drake Jackson forced fumble on a sack for back-up Washington State quarterback Victor Gabalis during the ensuing possession.
Tui Tuipulotu returned the fumble for a touchdown and the rout was on.
The USC defense held Washington State to just 279 yards, while the Trojans offense put up 447. London led the prolific USC aerial attack with 13 receptions for 170 yards.
Bryant totaled 56 yards on three receptions, and Tahj Washington added three catches for 31 yards. Dart led USC in rushing with 32 yards.
de Laura finished with 117 yards and an interception before coming out due to an apparent leg injury.
–Field Level Media
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