No. 13 USC beat the California Golden Bears 27-9 on Saturday, largely because of a strong performance from defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s unit. In total, the defense registered nine sacks. Originally credited with seven, the number was later upgraded after the conclusion of the game. The nine sacks were USC’s highest total since 2007 against Oregon State. The Trojans now rank third in the nation in sacks with 16, one behind co-leaders Tulsa and San Jose State.
The defense was led by junior defensive end Morgan Breslin, who tallied 3.5 quarterback takedowns and is now fourth in the country in sacks with 5.5. With 4.5 tackles for a loss of 26 yards on Saturday, he now sits atop the leaderboard with tackles for loss at 10. Breslin was rewarded for his efforts by being named one of the USC Student-Athletes of the Week.
The constant beating quarterback Zach Maynard took affected the entire Cal offense, as they mustered only 250 yards of total offense. The senior Cal quarterback completed 55 percent of his passes, throwing 18 completions in 33 attempts with two interceptions. The running game didn’t fare any better, rushing for 77 yards on 36 attempts for an average of 2.1 yards per carry. The Golden Bears relied heavily on their specials teams, as all nine of their points came via junior kicker Vincenzo D’Amato.
USC continues their Pac-12 schedule with Utah and Washington coming up over the next two games. Utah is 107th in sacks allowed while Washington is 83rd.