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USC vs. Utah State Final Score: USC Wins 17-14

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The Trojans escape a close game against the Aggies in a half-filled Coliseum.

USA TODAY Sports

Well, thankfully the defense exists, because the offense could not get it together in the second half.

Given four golden chances in Utah State territory, the Trojan offense produced just 3 points. That's not a typo. Three points. With a short field. Four times. That's infuriating.

Each time the Aggies were like, "Hey, USC. Here's the game. Just win it. We insist!" the Trojans were way too polite in responding, " No, really, it's OK! We'll make it as hard as possible and give you every chance to get back in the game. Here's Kris Albarado kicking the ball back to you."

Following what looked like a breakout performance, Cody Kessler fell back to earth with a 13-for-26 showing for 164 yards and  a score. He did seal the game with a 4th-and-short conversion with about 2 minutes left.

But really, praise be the defense. Morgan Breslin (2 sacks) and Leonard Williams (multiple abuses committed against the Aggies offensive line) continue to be a grown-ass (college) men.

George Uko stopped Chuckie Keeton on a 4th-and-9 to kill the Aggies' final drive of the game. After that, the Trojans ran out the clock.

On offense, despite its many shortcomings, Tre Madden was the star again. The back tallied 93 yards on 24 carries. Marqise Lee hasn't exploded yet, only grabbing 6 balls for 72 yards with a long reception of 33 yards.

We'll have a more detailed analysis later. Hopefully, the offense gets fixed before next week's big showdown in Tempe, Ariz. against Arizona State.