USC has a dominant performance, they beat the Rice Owls 66-14. Led by the offense and with timely turnovers by the defense, the Trojans showed what their potential can look like.
“Great first win, really proud of the team. It’s a fun moment to finally be here. I think the team was anxious and excited . . . to finally go play and I thought we responded well . . . made some adjustments that you’re going to have in first games,” said USC Head Coach Lincoln Riley.
“There was some new things on both sides of the ball that we had to adapt too and guys did a good job with it and I thought we maintained our energy, our physicality throughout the entire game.”
When needed, the offense was unplayable. New quarterback Caleb Williams spread the wealth by throwing to nine different players, which showcased the ridiculous amount of weapons USC has. They were so good offensively Williams didn’t play the fourth quarter.
While one running back didn’t dominate the carries in total, the Trojans rushed for over 200 rushing yards. They also threw for over 300 yards between Williams and the backup QB, freshman and local kid Miller Moss.
The defense showed how to win, even when the talent isn’t all there. Defense’s who struggle can still contribute with turnovers. Today alone they had four interceptions and three pick-sixes.
Sophomore defensive back Calen Bullock, (Alabama transfer and newly named captain) senior linebacker Shane Lee and senior linebacker Ralen Goforth all returned Ints for touchdowns. Freshman defensive back Xamarion Gordon also had an Int.
“Obviously I can’t start with anything but the three pick-sixes, I was told it’s a Pac-12 record and USC record. They’ve been playing ball around here for a long time. You don’t break records very often so that was really a cool thing for us defensively,” said Riley.
If they can keep it up USC could surprise and have an even better season than expected. They certainly took care of business and did what was expected of them today.
“Proud of the guys. Obviously it’s one of those moments, you don’t want to minimize it. I think it’s meaningful to us all but those of us that have been on these journeys before, we understand this is just the beginning. There’s so much left,” said Riley.
“Obviously for us, so much better to play, so much better to coach. It’s a great start, it’s not anything more than that, anything less than that so we’re thrilled with the win, thrilled with the way our guys played. Obviously lot of growing todo as we get started in conference on the road next week.”
Next up the Trojans travel to Palo Alto for a matchup with the Stanford Cardinal.
While the Owls had a couple of great offensive drives, they also had three pick-sixes. They had a lot of success on the ground with their starting running back (senior Cameron Montgomery) rushing for 99 yards, but had trouble moving the ball through the air.
Starting QB Wiley Green got benched after a first half where he really struggled to find any success. The backup TJ McMahon wasn’t much better, also having issues through the air.
Rice hopes for a bounce back and returns to Houston to host McNeese State.
Make sure to continue to follow the Trojans here at Gridiron Heroics, here’s an article about USC’s new captains.
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