The USC Trojans running backs were let loose and took full advantage of their opportunities in the team's 27-9 win over the California Golden Bears Saturday, giving the Trojans a rebound win after being upset last week. The major concern going forward, however, will be the health of center Khaled Holmes, who was hurt again.
Curtis McNeal starred in the first half for the Trojans and finished the game with 115 rushing yards in just ten carries. The senior running back did have a turnover, though, as McNeal put a ball on the turf in the third quarter that was recovered by the Golden Bears. Meanwhile, Silas Redd took 21 carries for 158 rushing yards and found the end zone once.
However, Trojans star quarterback Matt Barkley did not perform as well as he could have. The senior quarterback completed 22 of 34 passes while throwing for just 192 yards. While he did have two touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter, he was also at fault for a pair of interceptions.
Outside of three field goals by Golden Bears kicker Vincenzo D'Amato, not much went right for the California Golden Bears offense.
Box Score Hero: Trojans running back Curtis McNeal accumulated 115 yards on the ground in just ten carries, good for an average of 11.5 yards per carry.
Rankings Ramifications: The California Golden Bears will remain unranked and the USC Trojans may improve slightly in the rankings following their home win. But that will depend on the teams ahead of them suffering losses.
But Did They Cover? The Trojans opened as 17-point favorites and were bet down to as low as 16 or 16.5-point favorites. Since they won the game by 18 points, the Trojans were able to cover.
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Next Week's Schedule: Now 3-1 on the season, the Trojans will prepare to take on the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 4. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears will look to recover Saturday, Sept. 29 against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Memorial Stadium.