The USC Trojans pounded the Cal Bears with an aggressive ground game, rushing 186 yards on Saturday, October 3, at Kabam Field, Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. The Trojans won their second consecutive game keeping their Pac-12 South title hopes alive and it was the 12th times they defeated the Bears.
The Trojans ran the ball 50 times compared to 45 times against the Utes. USC’s running backs Tre Madden, Justin Davis and Ronald Jones combined for 189 yards on the grounds scoring two rushing touchdowns, one each from Ronald Jones and Tre Madden. Jones had 11 carries for 80 yards, Madden, 14 carries for 62 yards, and Davis, 15 carriers for 42 yards. “It just establishes our physical nature,” Tre Madden said. “We hear a lot that we’re not as physical as past teams or teams in the Pac-12. We just want to execute that and establish ourselves as a physical team.”
Adoree Jackson ran 46 yards for a Trojan touchdown when he picked off Cal quarterback Jared Goff who threw for 272 yards, and two touchdowns. Goff was intercepted twice and Cal was held to 117 rushing yards. Interim Trojan coach Clay Helton said, “we have a formula right now to run the ball, stop the run and don’t turn the ball over.” Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler completed 18 of 22 passes and threw for 186 yards. “This game was won by our offensive line,” Kessler said. “Our defense did great but offensively on that side of the ball, our offensive line won the game along with the running backs. I was so proud of them,” Kessler said.
This victory means that the Trojans improved its records to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-12 heading into next week’s game against Arizona. It also means that there is a ray of hope for the Trojans in the Pac-12 south race that will be settled this month.
On the not so bright side, USC leading receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster fractured his right hand in Saturday’s game. Interim USC coach Clay Helton said that “the medical staff is considering a surgical procedure that would involve putting a plate and screw in Smith-Schuster’s hand to stabilize it.” This surgery “could help him return in as few as three days.” USC has not announced whether he will play against Arizona this Saturday. Smith-Schuster has a total of 52 catches for 956 yards and eight touchdowns. He ranks first in the Pac-12 and seventh in the nation with an average of 119.5 receiving yards per game.
For Cal, the Bears need a sixth win that will make them bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. The Trojans face Arizona, Saturday, November 7, 7:30 pm at the Coliseum.