USC running back Travis Dye (26) has scored a rushing touchdown in five consective games (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)

The No. 6 USC Trojans secured their sixth victory after defeating the Washington State Cougars 30-14. The Trojans managed to win while missing key defensive players.

Linebacker Shane Lee was sidelined with a wrist injury and safety Calen Bullock was disqualified after a targeting foul in the second quarter; however, the defense was ready to step up. Inside linebacker Ralen Goforth made a season-high of eight tackles in the matchup. He noted how he makes the most of the opportunities he’s been given.

“There’s a lot of guys that’s banged up right now, we’re all hurt,” Goforth said. “At the end of the day, it’s football. It shows the toughness that we have as a group, the brotherhood that we have.”

Wide receiver Mario Williams made four catches for 82 yards and scored two touchdowns. Running back Travis Dye made 28 rushes for 149 yards and one touchdown.

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“He always have energy, he always willing to do anything to help the team,” Williams said. “I really respect that about him.”

Running back Jalen Jenkins was key to Washington State’s offense with 13 carries for 130 yards. Quarterback Cameron Ward battled the Trojans with 19 passes for 172 yards. His ability to scramble in the pocket was a challenge to the Trojans.

“I should have been way better on tackling the quarterback, but he’s an athletic guy,” USC linebacker Eric Gentry said. “That’s my fault, just not being able to get my hands on the quarterback.”

Crenshaw alum Daiyan Henley led Washington State with 11 total tackles.

“This was an emotional deal for him, and I think he showed a lot of maturity,” said Cougars football head coach Jake Dickert. “I’m proud to have him on our team, I’m proud to fight with him.”

Inglewood alum and former Student Athlete of the Week Orion Peters also saw playing time in the matchup with two receptions for 12 yards.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams (13) made 15 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

USC came out strong, scoring on their first offensive drive; quarterback Caleb Williams targeted  Williams for a 37-yard touchdown pass. Along with a strong offense, the Trojans had a suffocating defense. On their second possession, The Cougars protected their endzone and forced the Trojans to settle for a field goal.

While defensive end Tuli Tuipulotu stunted Washington State’s yardage, Jenkins helped advance the Cougars. In the first play of the second quarter, Ward sent a 12-yard pass to wideout Robert Ferrel to put Washington State on the scoreboard.

On their next possession, Ward darted a 49-yard haymaker to Jenkins for a first-and-goal. Two plays later, Ward connected with running back Nakia Watson to score and earn a 14-10 lead.

Later in the second quarter, the Trojans escaped a fourth down and a penalty to reach the WSU redzone. Two penalties on WSU put USC on the Cougars’ four-yard line, Dye scored a rushing touchdown shortly after. By halftime, the Trojans were up 17-14.

Midway through the third quarter, Caleb connected with Williams to make a 24-yard touchdown pass. The Trojans would score a field goal in the fourth quarter. Trojan head coach Lincoln Riley noted how the matchup was a “tough, hard-fought win.”

“We talked to the guys all week about how circumstances don’t make or break you whether they are positive or negative,” Riley said. “They just reveal your training, they reveal what’s inside of a team, what’s inside of the person.”

The Trojans will travel to battle Utah on October 15 at 5:00pm.