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USC 45, Fresno State 17: Live score recap, highlights, game stats

Caleb Williams and the No. 7 Trojans improve to 3-0

The USC Trojans are officially 3-0 and will potentially climb higher when the national college football rankings are released Sunday.

USC thoroughly beat Fresno State 45-17 on Saturday behind 284 yards passing and four total touchdown from Heisman Trophy candidate Caleb Williams.

Here's a full quarter-by-quarter recap of the game, including scoring plays and highlights:


FINAL: USC 45, FRESNO STATE 17: The Trojans pitch a shutout in the fourth quarter and improve to 3-0.

USC 45, FRESNO STATE 17, 4:09 LEFT: Denis Lynch tacks on a 41-yard field goal ... and Caleb Williams was clearly imploring Lincoln Riley to go for it on 4th-and-5.

USC 42, FRESNO STATE 17, 14:47 LEFT: Caleb Williams hits Malcolm Epps on a 10-yard TD pass up the seam to put this game on ice early in the fourth quarter. Williams has thrown for 224 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for two TDs.



USC 35, FRESNO STATE 17, 7:13 LEFT: All of a sudden, this is a track meet. USC came out determined to run the ball in the third quarter against a light box, and it is paying off. Travis Dye just went Beast Mode and ran through four arm tackles on his way to a 25-yard touchdown run. Dye has carried the ball 8 times for 85 yards and a TD.

USC 28, FRESNO STATE 17, 9:08 left: The Bulldogs are not going away. They gashed USC again on a 5-play, 71-yard drive capped by a 32-yard touchdown run by Malik Sherrod. Backup quarterback Logan Fife is in the game for Jake Haener. 

USC 28, FRESNO STATE 10, 11:15 LEFT: Just six plays after Jake Haener went down with a bad injury, Austin Jones punched it in from three yards out to extend USC's lead to 18.

FRESNO STATE FUMBLE! Jake Haener is sacked and the ball comes out. USC recovers ... and Haener is not getting up. This looks like a bad injury folks. The cart is coming out. I do not recommend watching the replay. Haener's right foot/ankle got bent the wrong way. USC takes over on their own 47-yard line.


Photo by Jason Goode

Photo by Jason Goode

Caleb Williams struggled to find open receivers in the second quarter. Fresno State is dropping eight into coverage and giving Williams some tough looks. The Trojans will need to run the ball more in the second half. Here are some halftime stats:

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Caleb Williams: 16-of-26, 143 yards, 1 TD pass, 2 TD runs

Jordan Addison: 5 catches, 51 yards

Austin Jones: 5 rushes, 59 yards

Travis Dye: 6 carries, 54 yards


USC 21, FRESNO STATE 10, HALFTIME: Both defenses stepped up in the second quarter, and there was some hitting going on. The half ended with Fresno State QB Jake Haener throwing a 44-yard Hail Mary into the end zone that was intercepted by Jaylin Smith.

USC 21, FRESNO STATE 10, 6:30 LEFT: Fresno State just gashed USC's defense. Jake Haener led a 5-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Haener to Erik Brooks, who outran virtually the entire USC secondary.

USC 21, FRESNO STATE 3, 8:04 LEFT: The Trojans continue to take what Fresno State is giving them, which has resulted in three very long drives - 12 plays, 12 plays and now 15 plays. Caleb Williams capped off the 15-play, 83-yard drive with a one-yard QB sneak to give USC a commanding lead.

USC 14, FRESNO STATE 3, 14:52 LEFT: The Trojans' defense holds on 3rd-and-goal, forcing Fresno State to kick a short field goal. Abraham Montano converts the 23-yard FG to put the Bulldogs on the board.



USC 14, FRESNO STATE 0, 3:35 LEFT: Caleb Williams is really, really good. Williams caps another 12-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Trojans an early two-score lead. Two possessions, two touchdowns for USC. Williams now has seven touchdown passes, one TD run and no turnovers on the season.

USC 7, FRESNO STATE 0, 10:05 LEFT: USC takes the opening kickoff and marches down the field on a 12-play scoring drive, capped by a 2-yard TD pass from - you guessed it - Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison. 


Kickoff update: The kickoff has been moved to 7:45 p.m. PT because the Ohio State vs. Toledo game on FOX is taking forever.

We're just a few minutes away from kickoff in Los Angeles. It's 69 degrees and a beautiful evening in Southern California.