September 28, 2014
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill

LOS ANGELES (AP) When Su'a Cravens intercepted Sean Mannion's pass and returned it 31 yards untouched for the game's first score, he perked up everybody on the Southern California sideline.

The Trojans' two-week hangover from an embarrassing loss evaporated in a surge of big plays against Oregon State, keeping USC right on course in the Pac-12 race.

Cody Kessler passed for 261 yards and two touchdowns, and Justin Davis scored twice in No. 18 USC's 35-10 victory over Oregon State on Saturday night.

Darreus Rogers caught a 48-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass at the halftime gun as the Trojans (3-1, 2-0 Pac-12) rebounded smartly from their first loss with solid defense and another stellar game from Kessler, who went 24 for 32 while leading a 461-yard offensive performance.

The Trojans had a bye after their upset loss at Boston College knocked them out of the Top 10. USC started tentatively in its first game back at the Coliseum, but Cravens' clever interception lit a spark.

''That big play that Su'a had, our defense was doing a great job, and that pressured our offense,'' Kessler said. ''It got our guys pumped up and the crowd fired up.''

Davis caught a 16-yard TD pass and ran for a fourth-quarter score for the Trojans. Javorius Allen added 115 yards rushing and a touchdown as USC roared back from an early deficit, scoring the final 28 points and playing 41 shutout minutes.

''We just had to get back to the basics to get over a loss,'' said Cravens, who also had a team-leading six tackles and a sack. ''We had to do our job and execute.''

Despite 14 penalties for 124 yards, the Trojans moved the ball steadily when their defense wasn't thoroughly stifling Oregon State, which managed only 63 yards and no points after taking a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Ryan Murphy returned a kickoff 97 yards for a TD for Oregon State (3-1, 0-1), which struggled in its first serious test of the season. Mannion went 15 of 32 for 123 yards with two interceptions for the Beavers, who haven't won at the Coliseum since 1960.

''Even though we weren't doing much offensively, our defense played a lot of good football there for a long time,'' Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. ''I think our team had some confidence we could do some stuff. The story of the game was we never responded offensively, to score points or to control the ball, and our defense wore out.''

Indeed, Oregon State showed little of its usual offensive pop after three straight victories over lower-tier opponents to open the season, and Mannion didn't look sharp in the California native's first appearance at the Coliseum.

''We knew that the quarterback was one of their best players, so we tried to get after him,'' USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. ''But the biggest thing we did was just stopping the running plays on first and second down. Everything else came from that.''

After Cravens' first career touchdown in the first quarter, Murphy took the ensuing kickoff straight down the Beavers' sideline for a TD, making the fifth-longest kick return in school history on his first career return. Murphy has been lobbying Riley for a spot on kick returns.

''I guess he proved his point tonight,'' Riley said. ''He's a good football player. He made a lot of good plays in this game and really played his heart out, too.''

Davis capped a steady USC drive with his TD catch on a short wheel route midway through the second quarter, putting the Trojans ahead to stay. USC stopped the Beavers' next drive when Adoree Jackson tipped a pass to Leon McQuay III for an end-zone interception.

As the first half ended, Kessler ducked away from several tacklers and launched a pass to the goal line. Several Beavers defenders did little to stop Rogers, whose biggest competition for the ball was from a teammate.

After USC largely dominated a scoreless third quarter, Allen ran 17 yards straight up the middle for a score early in the fourth. Davis added a 21-yard TD run with 5:02 to play.

USC still hasn't allowed a touchdown pass this season, and Kessler still hasn't thrown an interception.

The Beavers have lost 23 straight games at the Coliseum.

Oregon State lost starting defensive tackle Jalen Grimble, the brother of former USC tight end Xavier Grimble, to a knee injury.

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