Trojans find resiliency 

October, 5, 2012
As the Trojans headed out of Salt Lake City with a win over the Utes on Thursday night, they did so with an extra bounce in their step. It wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but it was one that showed a lot of the same spirit and resiliency that helped turn the corner for the 2011 team.

[+] EnlargeNickell Robey
Boyd Ivey/Icon SMINickell Robey's interception return for a touchdown helped seal USC's 38-28 win over Utah.
This was a game that could have gone south quickly based upon the opening possessions. There was a lot of talk coming into the game about how the Trojans had yet to play a complete game this year, and how they were heading into a lion’s den of fan frenzy with a Utah crowd that was fired up to host USC in front of a national-television audience. On paper, the Utes were definitely the underdog, but the Trojans had seen hopes and dreams dashed on the road before with untimely conference losses. And when two quick turnovers were turned into 14 Utah points, it had all the makings of another dangerous trap game.

To make matters worse, the source of the early USC angst was a familiar one, a dominant nose tackle wreaking havoc on the Trojans' offense. The scene had played out recently in the loss to Stanford when USC center Khaled Holmes was out of action. Holmes was back for the Utah game, but Utes defensive tackle Star Lotulelei had a big impact early with his physical presence, and he played a role in creating the turnovers. There was definite concern while wondering what was going to happen for the rest of the night if Lotulelei was able to continue dominating the game.


C. Kessler452315382639
B. Allen27614895.411
J. Davis1295954.64
N. Agholor104131312.612
J. Smith5472413.45