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USC Football Falls To California, 24-14, To End 2021 Season

Dec 4, 2021

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — USC ended its 2021 football season with a 24-14 loss on the road at California Saturday night..

Jaxson Dart, making his third start for USC (4-8, 3-6) in place of injured quarterback Kedon Slovis, threw a 45-yard touchdown to Kyle Ford before being forced out with an injury in the third quarter.

It was USC's final game before new coach Lincoln Riley takes over next season.

The game - which came a day after the Pac-12 championship game - was originally scheduled for Nov. 13 but was postponed three weeks due to COVID concerns within the Bears program.

Christopher Brooks added a pair of short scoring runs on a day when Cal's offense struggled reaching the end zone to help the Golden Bears (5-7, 4-5 Pac-12) to their first home win against the Trojans since 2003.

Cal's defense has been up and down all season but came through with enough big plays hand USC its fourth straight loss - the Trojans' longest skid since 2001.

Trey Paster's long fumble return for a touchdown came after Elijah Hicks jarred the ball loose from running back Darwin Barlow. Paster scooped up the ball on the run and raced down the sidelines to score as the Bears went up 17-7.

Trailing by 10, USC moved inside the red zone in the third quarter when Dart was shaken up after getting drilled by a pair of defenders scrambling toward the sideline. Dart lay face down momentarily before being helped to his feet and off the field.

Miller Moss, another true freshman, replaced Dart and completed his first throw but the Trojans were stopped on fourth down when tight end Erik Krommenhoek bobbled a direct snap at Cal's 3.

The Bears forced another turnover in the fourth quarter when Daniel Scott sacked Ross, jarring the ball free.

That set up Brown's second touchdown that extended the Bears lead to 17.


Moss had taken only one snap this season before being pressed into duty. He threw a 16-yard touchdown to K.D. Nixon in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown.


USC: The Trojans will kick off the Riley era next season with a home game against Rice on September 3, 2022.