Cody Kessler threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns as USC jumped all over Fresno State to take a 35-6 halftime lead over the Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Bowl played on Saturday.
Wide receivers Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor caught two touchdowns each as Kessler hit on 14 of 18 passes. USC piled up 326 yards of total offense.
FSU quarterback Derek Carr, who entered the game as the nation’s leader in total offense, was just 17 of 32 for 125 yards and one touchdown. The Bulldogs ran the ball three times for 14 yards.
The turning point of the first half came with about nine minutes left in the second quarter with USC up 21-6. Fresno State attempted a fake punt on its own 30 yards line on fourth down and three. Backup quarterback Myles Carr’s pass fell incomplete and the Trojans took over in great field position.
Two plays later, Javorius Allen scored on a 24-yard touchdown run and the rout was on.
If USC holds on, the Trojans will finish 10-4 and notch wins from three different coaches on the year — former coach Lane Kiffin (who was fired in September), interim coach Ed Orgeron (who left the program after the hiring of Steve Sarkisian) and interim coach Clay Helton, who stepped in to coach the Vegas Bowl.