NCAAF Game Recap - Utah at USC
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:00 PM EDT

Char
10
Clem
52
F
SMiss
7
Ala
49
F
ND
17
UGA
23
F
LSU
66
Vand
38
F
MiaOH
5
OHSt
76
F
Aub
28
TxAM
20
F
Tenn
3
Fla
34
F
Utah
23
USC
30
F
Mich
14
Wisc
35
F
OkSt
30
Tex
36
F
UCF
34
Pitt
35
F
Oreg
21
Stan
6
F
UCLA
67
WaSt
63
F
AF
19
Boise
30
F
OD
17
UVA
28
F
Wash
45
BYU
19
F
Cal
28
Miss
20
F
Colo
34
AzSt
31
F
SMU
41
TCU
38
F
Hou
31
Tul
38
F
FLInt
31
LaTec
43
F
MSU
31
NW
10
F
ULMon
20
IASt
72
F
Elon
7
Wake
49
F
WestMI
33
Syr
52
F
BC
30
Rut
16
F
UConn
3
Ind
38
F
Mor
21
Army
52
F
CoCar
62
UMass
28
F
ULLaf
45
Ohio
25
F
CenCt
29
E Mi
34
F
Troy
35
Akr
7
F
BGSU
20
Kent
62
F
SoAl
3
UAB
35
F
Wyo
21
Tuls
24
F
App
34
UNC
31
F
Lou
24
FlaSt
35
F
Temp
22
Buff
38
F
SCar
14
Mizzu
34
F
KY
13
MisSt
28
F
C Mi
12
MiaFL
17
F
NMSt
52
NM
55
F
WVU
29
Kans
24
F
W&M
7
ECU
19
F
Hamp
27
Lib
62
F
Wagn
7
FlAtl
42
F
GASt
34
TxSt
37
F(2OT)
SIU
28
ArkSt
41
F
Bayl
21
Rice
13
F
Ball
23
NCSt
34
F
UTSA
3
NorTx
45
F
SJSU
31
Ark
24
F
Nev
37
UTEP
21
F
Neb
42
Ill
38
F
SacSt
20
Fres
34
F
Toled
41
ColSt
35
F
UtSt
23
SDSU
17
F
C Ark
16
Hawaii
35
F

USC 30, Utah 23

Sep 20, 2019, 9:00 PM EDT

Final

1

2

3

4

T

(10) Utah (3-1)

7

3

7

6

23

USC (3-1)

14

0

7

9

30

Backup QB Matt Fink leads USC past No. 10 Utah, 30-23
Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:49 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Matt Fink decided to stay at Southern California even after finishing third in the Trojans' four-man quarterback competition in training camp last month.

A few weeks later, Fink found himself passing for 351 yards, leading a victory over No. 10 Utah at the roaring Coliseum, and sitting between Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart for a postgame interview on national television.

Fink didn't give up on his USC dream, and the Trojans are grateful they had such a talented backup to their backup.

Michael Pittman Jr. caught 10 passes for a career-high 232 yards and a touchdown from Fink in USC's 30-23 victory over the Utes on Friday night.

Fink went 21 of 30 with three touchdown passes for USC (3-1, 2-0 Pac-12) after taking over when freshman Kedon Slovis left with a possible concussion on the second play of the game. Fink mostly looked sharp as the third quarterback to play important snaps in four games for the Trojans, who lost starter J.T. Daniels to a season-ending knee injury in their opener.

"I don't think this moment was too big for me," Fink said. "I've been in the era of Sam Darnold, and I've seen things that are much crazier. Getting in today and showing what I can do is what I really wanted to do by staying here."

After barely playing the past two seasons, Fink nearly went to Illinois as a graduate transfer last spring. The Los Angeles-area native instead decided to stay home and wait for a chance, however remote.

"In a world where everybody goes different places, this one stayed for his family, waiting for his moment, waiting for his memory," USC coach Clay Helton said. "And what a memory it was tonight. When his number was called, he made the most of it tonight."

Tyler Vaughns, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Pittman all caught TD passes from Fink, while Pittman had the fifth-biggest receiving yardage game in USC history. His remarkable 42-yard catch in the fourth quarter eventually led to a 4-yard TD run by Markese Stepp , who celebrated by handing the ball to Bush, the Trojans great attending the game as a broadcaster despite his NCAA-mandated disassociation from his school.

Devontae Henry-Cole rushed for an early touchdown and Cole Fotheringham caught a TD pass for the Utes (3-1, 0-1), who struggled after star running back Zack Moss left in the first half with an apparent shoulder injury. Utah still has never won at the 96-year-old Coliseum.

Tyler Huntley passed for 210 yards and ran for 60 more, but the Utes committed 16 penalties for 120 yards and struggled to get key defensive stops against a green Trojans quarterback and his stellar receivers.

"Mostly we had no answer for their receiving corps," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "Michael Pittman did a number on us. We just didn't do a good enough job on him. We've got to rethink some things coaching-wise."

With Bush and Urban Meyer watching at the Coliseum as part of Fox Sports' broadcast crew, USC's roller coaster season went on the upswing again after last week's embarrassing overtime loss at BYU.

Slovis had played two encouraging games as the starter after replacing Daniels, but he couldn't continue after 335-pound Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu landed on him. Helton said Slovis "got dinged," and the USC medical staff held him out.

Fink jumped into USC's Air Raid offense and completed eight of his first nine throws during two game-opening touchdown drives in which he relied heavily on his receivers' playmaking abilities.

Pittman then scored on a brilliant 77-yard catch early in the third quarter, snatching a long pass away from defenders and fending them off on his run.

UTES UPSET

Utah's mistakes weren't limited to penalties. USC blocked a field goal attempt, and the Utes also fumbled near the USC goal line 16 seconds before halftime, when they trailed 14-10 despite racking up 284 yards and controlling the ball for more than 20 minutes.

"We were supposed to take advantage of our chances in the red zone," said Huntley, who took his first two sacks of the season. "We all know the plays were there. We just had to make them."

BIG D

USC's defense came up big in the second half. Isaiah Pola-Mao's third-down sack from the USC 1 forced Utah to kick a field goal, and Trojans freshman sensation Drake Jackson then got hold of Huntley in the end zone and forced intentional grounding for a safety with 8:51 to play.

REGGIE RETURNS

Fans around the Fox Sports broadcast stage let loose several chants of "Reggie! Reggie!" for Bush. The retired tailback is still formally disassociated from USC under terms of the NCAA ruling against the school in 2010, but he remains wildly popular among USC fans and current players whose first Trojans memories include Bush's feats. Meyer is on top of many USC fans' lists of coaches to replace Helton, but the embattled incumbent is off to a fairly strong start.

THE TAKEAWAY

Utah: Losing Moss is an enormous blow to any offense, and his long-term health could determine the Utes' chances for a run at a second straight Pac-12 title. Utah's inability to finish drives only gets worse with Moss sidelined, and while Huntley's valiant effort might win future games, it wasn't enough against the Trojans.

USC: Another quarterback injury wasn't enough to slow down the Trojans, even against a solid Utah defense that essentially wiped out their running game. Fink did enough to win, and USC's defense made several big plays. USC is somehow 3-1 after four games of an extremely difficult six-game start to the season, with Helton finding yet another way to fend off the doubters for another week.

UP NEXT

Utah: A late-night visit from Washington State and its Air Raid offense next Saturday, Sept. 28.

USC: The brutal early schedule continues at defending Pac-12 champion Washington next Saturday, Sept. 28.

---

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Passing

Utah Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
T. Huntley 30 22 73.3 1 210 38 0 103.5
USC Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
M. Fink 30 21 70.0 3 351 77 1 128.6
K. Slovis 2 2 100.0 0 17 9 0 102.1

Rushing

Utah Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
D. Brumfield 10 63 6.3 30 0
T. Huntley 18 60 3.3 14 0
USC Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
V. Malepeai 11 39 3.5 10 0
M. Stepp 3 11 3.7 4 1

Receiving

Utah Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
D. Vickers 3 38 12.7 26 0
J. Dixon 1 38 38.0 38 0
USC Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
V. Malepeai 1 0 0.0 0 0
M. Pittman Jr. 10 232 23.2 77 1

Fumbles

Returning

Utah KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
B. Covey 1 15.0 0 15 0 - 0 0
USC KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
V. Jones Jr. 5 20.4 0 26 0 - 0 0
S. Carr 1 33.0 0 33 0 - 0 0

Punting

Utah Punt Yds Avg LgPu
B. Lennon 2 70 35.0 37
USC Punt Yds Avg LgPu
B. Griffiths 4 169 42.3 50

Takeaways

Utah Int Yds InTD
T. Burgess 1 29 0
USC Int Yds InTD
G. Johnson 0 0 0

Team Stats Comparison

Utah USC
Points For 23 30
Total Yards 457 381
Rushing Yards 247 13
Passing Yards 210 368
Passing Completions / Attempts 22/30 23/32
Turnovers 1 2
Interceptions Thrown 0 1
Fumbles - Lost 1/1 1/1
First Downs 27 16
Penalties - Yards 16/120 11/117
Time Of Possession 12:12 48:48
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 5/13 5/10
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 1/2 0/0
Punts - Average Yards 2/35 4/42

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter Utah USC
USC 2:03 TD Tyler Vaughns 29 yd pass from Matt Fink (Chase McGrath kick) 0 7
Utah 4:21 TD Devonta'e Henry-Cole 17 yd run (Jadon Redding kick) 7 7
USC 6:49 TD Amon-Ra St. Brown 31 yd pass from Matt Fink (Chase McGrath kick) 7 14
2nd Quarter Utah USC
Utah 8:16 FG Jadon Redding 38 yd FG 10 14
3rd Quarter Utah USC
USC 5:06 TD Michael Pittman Jr. 77 yd pass from Matt Fink (Chase McGrath kick) 10 21
Utah 11:13 TD Cole Fotheringham 2 yd pass from Tyler Huntley (Jadon Redding kick) 17 21
4th Quarter Utah USC
Utah 3:03 FG Jadon Redding 24 yd FG 20 21
USC 6:09 SF Team safety 20 23
USC 8:02 TD Markese Stepp 4 yd run (Chase McGrath kick) 20 30
Utah 10:59 FG Jadon Redding 38 yd FG 23 30

Game Information

Stadium: United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 55,719
Game Time:
Weather: