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11/09/2013 6:59 PM EST
Agholor, Allen lead USC to 62-28 win over Cal
USC 62, CALIFORNIA 28
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Sports Writer
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Nelson Agholor had two of Southern
California's NCAA-record tying three punt returns for touchdowns
and Javorius Allen scored three times to help the Trojans beat
California for the 10th straight time, 62-28 on Saturday.
Agholor started the scoring for USC (7-3, 4-2 Pac-12) with a
75-yard return and added a 93-yarder late in the second quarter
to help USC win for the fourth time in five games under interim
coach Ed Orgeron.
Josh Shaw also returned a blocked punt 14 yards for a score
earlier in the second quarter for the Trojans, who tied the
record last achieved by Oklahoma against UCLA in 2003 when
Antonio Perkins returned three punts for scores.
The Trojans had far too much speed for the Golden Bears (1-9,
0-7) to handle as Allen scored on runs of 43 and 79 yards and a
57-yard screen pass from Cody Kessler to extend USC's dominance
over Cal. Allen gained 192 yards on seven offensive touches.
The Trojans haven't lost in this series since a triple-overtime
defeat in Berkeley in 2003, outscoring the Bears by an average
of 20 points in that span and not trailing at any point in a
game since 2007.
The Bears failed to give first-year head coach Sonny Dykes a
home victory against an FBS opponent in six games. Their only
home win came was a 37-30 decision over Portland State of the
lower-level FCS on Sept. 7. Cal has not beaten an FBS opponent
anywhere since a 31-17 win at Washington State on Oct. 13, 2012.
The 14-game skid against FBS teams is the longest active one in
the country and many of those games haven't even been close. Cal
has been outscored by an average of more than 25 points per game
in that skid.
A coaching change has provided a spark for the Trojans. They
have been much improved since Orgeron replaced Lane Kiffin after
the Trojans lost 62-41 at Arizona State on Sept. 28 and remain
in the running to win the Pac-12 South title.
After Goff threw two TD passes early in the second quarter to
get Cal back in the game, USC scored three touchdowns in a span
of 3:35 to break the game open.
The surge started after a rare positive play from Cal's defense
when Michael Barton sacked Kessler to put the Trojans in a
second-and-18 hole. But Kessler dumped a short pass off to
Allen, who did the rest by racing 57 yards for the score to make
The special teams took over from there with Soma Vainuku
blocking Cole Leininger's punt and Josh Shaw catching it at the
14 and running in for the score.
Leininger got his punt off after Cal's next possession but the
Bears had no answer for the speedy Agholor, who maneuvered
through the Bears' coverage unit for the 93-yard score. Agholor
joined Mike Garrett as the only USC players with two punt-return
touchdowns in a single game. Garrett set his record in 1965 at
Goff finished 34 for 48 for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
Dykes' 44th birthday got off to a bad start and only got worse
after that. The Bears punted three times, committed three
personal fouls and allowed three touchdowns to fall behind 21-0
after the first quarter.
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