Dominant defense propels USC past Utah

LOS ANGELES — Cody Kessler passed for 230 yards, Nelson Agholor scored the game's only touchdown on an early 30-yard reception, and Southern California's defense forced four turnovers in a 19-3 victory over Utah on Saturday.

Andre Heidari kicked four field goals for the Trojans (5-3, 2-2 Pac-12), who persevered despite a daunting injury list for their second victory in three games under interim coach Ed Orgeron.

Travis Wilson passed for just 51 yards and threw two interceptions while obviously struggling with a sprained finger for Utah (4-4, 1-4), which has followed up its stunning victory over Stanford with consecutive losses to Arizona and USC. The Utes haven't won at the Coliseum since 1916.

USC's defense was dominant, yielding just 201 yards while holding the Utes scoreless after their opening drive.

Both offenses struggled mightily at the Coliseum, but Heidari set a career high for field goals after nearly losing his job during the week. The junior missed two field-goal attempts at Notre Dame last week in USC's 14-10 loss.

With Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver Marqise Lee leading the long list of injured Trojans unable to play, Agholor shrugged off his aching ribs and caught six passes for 97 yards. Freshman Darreus Rogers added five catches for 62 yards, offsetting an ineffective USC running game.

USC was down to fewer than 50 scholarship players against the Utes, and a few more Trojans got hurt during the game, resulting in some desperate decisions for a program already faced with badly depleted depth from NCAA scholarship sanctions.

Walk-on Chris Willson, a former pitcher at Wake Forest, caught a pass late in the first half with USC's top four tight ends unavailable to play. Injured safety Dion Bailey watched the first half in street clothes before suiting up for the second half when freshman star Su'a Cravens strained his groin while returning an interception late in the first half.

And when USC right tackle Kevin Graf was taken up the Coliseum tunnel on a cart after injuring his left ankle in the first half, three players had to switch positions on the Trojans' beleaguered offensive line to cover for him.

Utah's injury problems were more straightforward: Wilson didn't look right while playing despite injuries to his throwing hand from last week's loss to Arizona. Wilson rushed for 42 yards, but was unable to throw the ball consistently, going 5 for 14.

Backup Adam Schulz was even worse, going 7 for 17 after throwing an interception on his first attempt in the final seconds of the first half.

Arizona 44, Colorado 20

At Boulder, Colo., Ka'Deem Carey rushed for four touchdowns and Arizona extended Colorado's Pac-12 losing streak to a dozen games.

Carey, the nation's leading rusher, ran for 119 yards on 23 carries. But it was his quarterback, B.J. Denker, who surprised the Buffs on the ground with a career-best 192 yards on 15 keepers.

He got 100 of those yards on two scampers up the middle, a career-long 54-yard gem and a 46-yarder that got the Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) out from the shadow of their own goal line.

Carey, who came in averaging 160 yards a game, scored from 1, 7, 1 and 6 yards out — one TD in each quarter. He's now reached the end zone in nine straight quarters against the Buffaloes (3-4, 0-4). Last year, he rolled up a conference record 366 yards and five TDs on the Buffaloes.

His last score Saturday night came after the Buffs tried a fake punt on fourth-and-5 from their own 17, but Trevor Ermisch tackled punter Darragh O'Neill at the 18.

Two plays later, Carey was in the end zone again for a 41-20 lead.

Denker also threw for 365 yards and a touchdown.

Carey's best run of the night was a 30-yard scamper that set up another score in the first half that gave the Wildcats a 24-13 lead at the break after they'd spent much of the second quarter playing catch up.

Colorado pulled to 27-20 on Michael Adkins' 1-yard TD run in the third quarter, but Carey's second 1-yard TD run restored the Wildcats' double-digit lead, and they were never in trouble again.

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