There wasn’t much of a crowd at the Coliseum Saturday afternoon to watch USC play Boston College in football.
But there weren’t boos many for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, either.
The Trojans bounced back from last week’s upset loss to Washington State by routing Boston College, 35-7.
USC (2-1) dominated in every phase of the game, including quarterback play.
Cody Kessler, making his first start knowing he had won – or not lost – the quarterback job, looked confident and was productive, completing 15 of 17 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns in a little more than three quarters.
“He played really well and the guys played well around him,” USC Coach Lane Kiffin said in a television interview afterward.
Still, Kiffin inserted backup Max Wittek into the game with 10 minutes 40 seconds to play.
Wittek then led an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive, taking the ball in himself on a two-yard run.
USC’s offense, stagnant in a loss against Washington State last week, set a different tone early. On the first play of the game, Kessler wound up and threw a bomb toward Marqise Lee.
The pass was barely overthrown, but it received a roar of approval anyway from the small crowd.
The Trojans continued to run the ball well, led by Tre Madden, who reached triple digits in rushing for the third consecutive game, finishing with 102 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries. Madden also caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman Justin Davis also looked good, running shifty and nifty on a couple of plays to finish with 96 yards rushing in 10 carries, including a score from 17 yards out.
USC out-gained Boston College, 521-184. The Eagles (2-1) got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter on 29-yard run by Tyler Rouse.
USC has not posted a shutout since routing UCLA, 50-0, in the final game of the 2011 season.
USC 35, Boston College 7 (4:22 left in fourth quarter)
At about 235 pounds, USC quarterback Max Wittek looks a little like a fullback.
He just ran like one.
Wittek faked a handoff, rolled to his right, and instead of throwing a short pass tucked the ball under his arm and powered into the end zone from two yards out.
USC drove 75 yards in 11 plays and Wittek completed both of his passes, for gains totaling 27 yards.