College Football
Southern California 30, San Jose State 7
When: 5:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 4, 2021
Where: United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Temperature: 85°
Head Official: Mike McCabe
Attendance: 54398

Greg Johnson's 37-yard interception return for touchdown punctuated a strong defensive effort from No. 15 Southern California, and the Trojans overcame San Jose State's own stout defense to win their season-opener 30-7 on Saturday in Los Angeles.

USC (1-0) intercepted San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel twice, both of which led to Trojans' touchdowns. Johnson jumped a route in the fourth quarter and streaked down the sideline untouched for a 37-yard score with 11:42 remaining that effectively put the game away.

Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis finished 24-of-36 passing for 256 yards and no interceptions.

USC struggled to put distance between itself and reigning Mountain West Conference champion San Jose State (1-1), which went scoreless for the game's first 37:35 but pulled to 13-7 on Tyler Nevens' 2-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

After Slovis threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tahj Washington in the opening quarter, San Jose State, playing an aggressive defensive style heavy on blitz packages, kept the Trojans out of the end zone for the next 40:19 of game time. The Spartans recorded eight tackles for loss on the day and brought consistent pressure on Slovis with three quarterback hurries.

Viliami Fehoko sacked Slovis in the early fourth quarter to limit USC's most promising drive since the mid-first-quarter touchdown.

That score -- set up after edge-rusher Drake Jackson intercepted Starkel at the San Jose State 39-yard line -- looked like it was going to open the floodgates for the Trojans.

Slovis found Washington, who went over a Spartans defender to haul in the score and give USC a 10-point lead less than eight minutes into the game. The Trojans scored on a 27-yard Parker Lewis field goal just 2:39 earlier.

But USC's inability to complete drives relegated it to three Lewis field goals, all attempted in the red zone.

The Trojans finally broke through for another offensive touchdown when Slovis found a sliding Erik Krommenhoek for a 20-yard score with 2:07 remaining.

USC's Drake London caught 12 passes for 137 yards, and Washington hauled in four passes for 56 yards.

Keaontay Ingram rushed for 86 yards, and USC totaled 423 yards as a team.

San Jose State totaled 356 yards, with Starkel's 308 yards on 24-of-46 passing leading the way. The Spartans finished just 1-of-3 on red-zone opportunities.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
San Jose State   Southern California
Tyler Nevens Player Keaontay Ingram
15 Attempts 15
58 Yards 86
3.9 Avg Yards 5.7
1 Touchdowns 0
0 Long 0
San Jose State   Southern California
Isaiah Hamilton Player Drake London
6 Receptions 12
74 Yards 137
12.3 Avg Yards 11.4
0 Touchdowns 0
0 Long 0
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
San Jose State 376 68 308 1 0 0 2.0 1
Southern California 416 160 256 3 3 2 0.0 1