LOS ANGELES Cody Kessler threw for a career-high 410 yards and hit JuJu Smith-Schuster with two of his three TD passes, leading the No. 8 Trojans past Idaho 59-9 on Saturday night in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
“You mix good coaching with good players, and it’s hard to defend,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said.
Smith-Schuster set career-highs with 10 catches for 192 yards as the Trojans (2-0) led 38-3 at halftime after racking up 434 yards on just 46 plays. Kessler, who went 26-for-31 with no interceptions, has passed for 650 yards and seven TDs while beating Sun Belt teams Arkansas State and Idaho (0-2) by a combined 99 points.
Matt Linehan passed for 194 yards for the Vandals (0-2), who got $1.1 million to travel to the schools’ second meeting since the 1920s. Jacob Sannon caught nine passes for 79 yards, and Trent Cowan had a TD catch as Idaho dropped to 2-23 under Petrino.
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USC outscored Idaho 21-6 in the second half, where Linehan hit Buck Cowan for a 10-yard score and the Vandals’ only touchdown of the game.
“We actually had two drives in the third quarter where I thought we played well,” Petrino said. “I think you can take a couple of those drives and really build on them. You have to find positives and that definitely would be a positive.”
Idaho played without wide receivers Dezmon Epps (coach’s decision) and David Ungerer (foot).
PORTLAND ST. 34, IDAHO ST. 14
POCATELLO Alex Kuresa passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and the Portland State defense forced four turnovers to help the No. 24 Vikings beat the No. 23 Bengals. David Jones, a senior who came into the game with 44 career rushing yards, ran for 113 yards on 18 carries for Portland State (2-0, 1-0 Big Sky). Xavier Finney gained 87 yards on the ground for Idaho State (1-1, 0-1), moving past Merril Hoge for third on the career list with 2,799.
MONTANA WESTERN 24, COLLEGE OF IDAHO 20
DILLON, Mont. J.D. Ferris threw a 5-yard TD pass with 18 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 Frontier). J.J. Hyde (Vallivue High) tied the game at 17-17 with a 2-yard TD run, then Hartvig Bondo put the Coyotes (1-2, 1-1) ahead on his second field goal, a 26-yarder with 2:29 left. Ferris led Montana Western with 308 total yards. Teejay Gordon threw for 168 yards and a TD for C of I and ran for a team-high 59 yards.