Trojans run past Fresno State
By Eric Lambkins II
LOS ANGELES — Caleb Williams threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more; Austin Jones and Travis Dye rushed both ran for more than 100 yards to lead No. 7 Southern California to a 45-17 nonconference victory Saturday over Fresno State before 67,226 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
USC put up 517 yards, with 435 in a balanced attack. USC entered week 3 as the #1 ranked offense. USC is now 4-1 all-time against Fresno State, with one win vacated due to an NCAA penalty.
USC has won each of its first three games by 10 or more points. The last time USC began a season with three wins each by 10 or more points was the 2007 season.
"Be the hunter, not the hunted," Williams stated about USC's approach toward the game. "We wanted to play a full game, and that's been our whole thing this whole week."
With the win, USC improves to 3-0 on the season.
At halftime, USC led 21-10. The game turned in the second half when USC scored 17 unanswered points. After a third-quarter touchdown, Fresno State's final three drives: missed FG, turnover on downs, turnover on downs.
USC head coach Lincoln Riley prepared his team for Fresno State's physicality all week.
"We said all week with our team that we're going to get tested, and we're going to be faced with some situations in this game that we haven't been in yet as a team. It was good to see us really respond. I'm really proud of the way we played in the second half," Riley said.
Jones carried 12 times for 111 yards and a touchdown. Dye carried 11 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Jones and Dye became the first pair of USC running backs to have 100 or more yards in the same game since Nov. 3, 2018, vs. Oregon State, when Aca'Cedric Ware had 205 yards and Vavae Malepeai had 101 yards.
Fresno State's Jordan Mims carried 15 times for 114 yards; Malik Sherrod carried eight times for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Next week, Fresno State has a bye. USC travels to Oregon State.