Football
    USC Holds Off No. 21 Colorado, 21-17

    Oct. 08, 2016

    Final Stats |  USATSI Gallery   | Final Statistics (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader

    LOS ANGELES (AP) Tyler Petite caught his second touchdown pass from Sam Darnold with 8:28 to play, and Southern California overcame four turnovers to earn a 21-17 victory over No. 21 Colorado on Saturday.

    Daniel Imatorbhebhe also caught a TD pass from Darnold, who passed for 358 yards and three scores along with two fumbles and an interception. USC (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12) shredded one of the nation's top defenses for 539 yards, but Colorado's takeaways kept an otherwise one-sided game close.

    In the Buffaloes' first game as a ranked team since Nov. 7, 2005, receiver Bryce Bobo threw a 67-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and caught a tying TD pass with 10:20 to play.

    Colorado (4-2, 2-1) kicked a field goal with 4:49 left after Petite's tiebreaking score , but the Trojans coolly ran out the clock.

    ''All Pac-12 wins are tough, especially when you turn the ball over like we did,'' USC coach Clay Helton said. ''We really had a ton of yards, but just a bunch of turnovers.''

    Justin Davis rushed for 83 yards before leaving with an ankle injury early in the second half for USC, which improved to 11-0 against Colorado in the schools' history.

    The Trojans' offense picked up right where it left off last week in a 41-point performance against Arizona State, while the defense held Colorado's potent offense to 371 yards - just 127 in the first half.

    Steven Montez passed for 197 yards in the freshman's third straight start. Colorado career passing leader Sefo Liufau also played briefly, but neither quarterback had sustained success against USC's improving defense.

    ''Today was just a testament to how much work we have left,'' Montez said. ''It's a humbling experience to show that we weren't what we thought we are, and have so much work to do. I think it will help us in the long run. It will keep us hungry and get us focused.''

    Bobo threw the 67-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Lindsay on a trick play for Colorado's first points in the third quarter, and he caught a 10-yard throw from Montez to cap an 84-yard tying drive.

    The Trojans got rolling on their tiebreaking drive when Darreus Rogers reached over Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and wrestled an interception away from him for a 46-yard gain.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    USC: After going 1-3 in a brutal September schedule, USC has been largely outstanding against two Pac-12 opponents in October.

    UP NEXT

    USC: The Trojans head out for their only road game of October, traveling to Arizona. USC rallied from a big early deficit to beat the Wildcats 38-30 last season.