Big nights from Kessler and Agholor fuel USC victory
USC quarterback Cody Kessler hasn’t received a lot of national attention, but his performance in the Trojans' 38-30 win over Cal Thursday night might help to change that. Sure, the Golden Bears have a porous pass defense, but Kessler's 379 yards and four touchdowns on 32-43 passing against Cal is nothing to scoff at (and it would have been a whole heckuva lot more if it wasn't for all those penalties). He started the game by throwing for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the first 7:31 of action, which would translate to about 1,100 yards passing had he kept that line going for the whole game.
So how many Kessler highlights, but the one we choose above is his TD pass to George Farmer. Great throw.
Speaking of Agholor, dude had quite the night himself, catching a career-high 16 passes for 214 yards and two scores. He reached his career high in single-game receptions before halftime came around and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season, 434 of which have come in his last two games.
It hasn’t just been Cal’s secondary that has been torched by Kessler. The USC quarterback has now thrown for 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns against just three interceptions. It’s been a quiet rise up until this point, but maybe not so silent from here on out.
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For all the great quarterbacks to set foot in Troy, Kessler is on pace to finish 2014 with the highest completion percentage for a single season in school history (he has completed 70.3 percent of his passes so far this season; Matt Barkley currently holds the record at 69.1 percent).
Meanwhile, Agholor enters the final two games of the regular season with 82 catches for 1,079 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Kudos to the Golden Bears for fighting hard all game long and never giving up, but a 31-2 first-half deficit proved to be too much to overcome in the end.