Sam Darnold has seen plenty of what cornerback Ajene Harris can do in practice. He’s just thankful he doesn’t have to face him when it counts.
Darnold threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score and Harris had two interceptions — including a pick-six — as No. 15 USC beat host Colorado 38-24 on Saturday to wrap up the Pac-12 South title.
“Always good to have someone like him on defense,” Darnold said.
The same can be said of Darnold — on offense, of course — after he threw for 329 yards and improved to 18-3 as a starter.
“I’ve really enjoyed his leadership, whether it’s good times or bad,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “When you’re the quarterback at USC and to have that much pressure on you and do it with so much class and character on a weekly basis, whether things are going good or bad, and perform for his brothers? He’s the definition of believing in the team’s success over individual success.”
The Trojans (9-2, 7-1) will play the Pac-12 North winner on Dec. 1 at Levi’s Stadium.
USC 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).
“There’s still a lot out there that we have to get ready for,” Helton said. “We’re going to celebrate tonight and go back to work tomorrow.”
Juwann Winfree hauled in touchdown passes of 79 and 57 yards to rally Colorado. But Buffaloes quarterback Steven Montez was tackled on a fourth-down play near the USC goal line with just over a minute remaining. Montez said he thought the Buffs picked up a first down on the previous play.
“It was fourth down — all the way,” Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. “I don’t know.”
#19 Washington State 33, Utah 25: Luke Falk threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns as the visiting Cougars (9-3, 6-2) beat the Utes (5-5, 2-5). Washington State needs to beat Washington in Seattle on Nov. 25 to win the Pac-12 North and play in the conference championship game for the first time since the league created divisions in 2011. “For the last three years, we’ve been right on the cusp of the thing,” Cougars coach Mike Leach said. “We’ll see. This is a good group. We’ve won a lot of games in the Pac-12 in the last three years. We need to win another one.”
UCLA 44, Arizona State 37: Josh Rosen threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lasley on the first play of the fourth quarter and the host Bruins (5-5, 3-4) pulled away from the Sun Devils (5-5, 4-3). Rosen was 25 of 45 for 381 yards with one touchdown and one interception and scored on a 1-yard run as the Bruins outscored the Sun Devils 10-3 in the fourth quarter. Bolu Olorunfunmi ran for 79 yards and one touchdown, Soso Jamabo had a 21-yard touchdown run, and Nate Meadors returned an interception for a touchdown to help UCLA remain undefeated at the Rose Bowl this season.
Arizona 49, Oregon State 28: Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate ran his streak of 100-yard rushing games to six, finishing with 206 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries to lead the host Wildcats (5-5, 4-3) past the Beavers (1-9, 0-7). Arizona ran for a school-record 534 yards, with three players going over 100 yards. Tate had a 19-yard second-quarter touchdown run in which he bowled over a would-be tackler in the open field on his way to the end zone. Tate has four of the five longest touchdown runs for Arizona this season, and twice has run 71 yards for a score.