No. 15 USC Clinches Pac-12 South In 38-24 Win Over Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Sam Darnold tossed two TD passes and ran for another, Ajene Harris intercepted two passes, including one he returned for a score, and No. 15 Southern California beat Colorado 38-24 on Saturday to wrap up the Pac-12 South title.

Darnold threw for 329 yards as he improved to 18-3 as a starter. Tailback Ronald Jones II had 142 yards to surpass Mike Garrett for sixth place on the Trojans’ all-time rushing list.

Southern Cal (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12, No. 11 CFP) led 27-0 in the third quarter, but needed to weather a late Colorado comeback. The Trojans blocked two field goals to move to 12-0 against the Buffaloes (5-6, 2-6).

Juwann Winfree had a big day for Colorado by hauling in TD passes of 79 and 57 yards. Steven Montez threw for 376 yards.

A pivotal play in the game was when Colorado tried to get something going with about a minute left before halftime and down 14-0. Montez forced a pass to the outside that Harris stepped in front of, tip-toed along the out-of-bounds line and headed into the end zone.

Harris had another interception in the fourth quarter that nearly went for a score. As he was being tackled, Harris pitched the ball to Marvel Tell III, who took it about 27 yards for a TD. The replay booth took a look and ruled that Harris’ knee was down before the pitch.

THE TAKEAWAY

USC: This should please coach Clay Helton — the Trojans turned in big plays on offense, defense and special teams. This should not — a blocked punt that set up a short score by Phillip Lindsay to make it 27-14 in the third quarter.

Colorado: They Buffaloes remain a win away from reaching bowl eligibility for a second straight season.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

USC will be trending up after turning in a dominant first half and something less than that in the second.

A NICE RING

Colorado linebacker Trent Headley trotted out to the field on senior day, dropped to a knee near his cheerleader girlfriend and asked her to marry him . She said yes.

THIS & THAT

The temperature at kickoff was 59 degrees. The last time the Trojans played a game in the snow was Nov. 30, 1957, at Notre Dame. … Trojans PK Chase McGrath missed a 40-yard field goal and an extra point. … The last time USC blocked two field goals in a game was Nov. 4, 2011, against Colorado.

UP NEXT

USC: Closes out the regular season against UCLA.

Colorado: After a bye week, travels to Utah on Nov. 25. The Buffs are 32-28-3 all-time against the Utes.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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