Skip to main content

USC Offense Posts 34-30 Victory Over Defense in Lincoln Riley's First Spring Football Game

Apr 23, 2022

LOS ANGELES—Quarterback Caleb Williams threw a pair of short touchdown passes to fellow newcomer Mario Williams, quarterback Miller Moss added a scoring bomb to wide receiver Kyle Ford and tailback Austin Jones ran for a TD to lead the USC offense to a 34-30 victory over the defense in Lincoln Riley's first spring football game as Trojan head coach before a record crowd of 33,427 fans in the Coliseum on Saturday (April 23).

"That was a great day," said Riley, who came to USC in late November after spending the past 5 seasons as Oklahoma's head coach.  "Today was a great example of a lot of progress that has been made in a really short time.  There were some big plays on both sides of the ball.  We threw and caught the ball pretty well.  The offensive line battled well.  And the defense tackled well, a lot of open field tackles.  

"Obviously, this is just the beginning, this is just a step.  We're really excited about our progress and the opportunity today to put it on display for our fans."

Caleb Williams, who transferred to USC this spring from Oklahoma, completed his first 9 passes for 90 yards with the 2 scores en route to a 10-of-12 passing performance for 98 yards.  Mario Williams, who also came to USC from Oklahoma this spring, had 4 receptions for 32 yards, including first-half TD grabs of 5 and 9 yards.  Moss was 15-of-20 for 169 yards, including a 48-yard TD to Ford on the second half's opening play.

Jones, a Stanford transfer, had a 6-yard scoring run in the second half.  He ended up with 14 yards on 6 carries and caught 2 passes for 18 yards.  Tailback Travis Dye, an Oregon transfer, led all rushers with 27 yards on 7 carries, while tailback Darwin Barlow added 23 yards on 5 tries along with 2 catches for 26 yards.

USC's other offensive points in the 68-play scrimmage that was televised live on ESPN came on field goals by placekickers Alex Stadthaus (55 yards) and Denis Lynch (30 yards).

Wide receiver Kyron Ware-Hudson had 4 receptions (for 36 yards), while tight end Jude Wolfe (22 yards) and wide receiver Brenden Rice (13 yards) each added 3 catches.  Hudson also had 18 yards on a reverse run.

In the game's scoring system, the USC defense started with a 21-0 lead and was able to add 3 points for turnovers, fourth down stops and missed field goals and 7 points for defensive scores and safeties.  The defense posted 3 fourth down stops, all in the second half, for 9 points.

Defensive backs Latrell McCutchin, another Oklahoma transfer, had a game-high 4 tackles, as did fellow defensive backs Anthony Beavers Jr. and Jaylin Smith.  Adding 3 stops each were linebackers Shane Lee and Romello Height, transfers to USC from Alabama and Auburn respectively, along with defensive back Calen Bullock and defensive lineman Jamar Sekona.

Height, inside linebacker Julien Simon and defensive lineman Nick Figueroa each had a sack.

There were only 2 penalties in the game, both by the defense.

The attendance was the most at a USC spring game since records were available in the late 1990s.