Tuli Tuipulotu headlined a stingy defensive effort from No. 6 Southern Cal, which improved to 6-0 for the first time since 2006 with a 30-14 win over visiting Washington State on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Tuipulotu finished with three sacks and four tackles for loss.
The Trojans (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to Caleb Williams’ 38-yard touchdown pass to Mario Williams and a 31-yard Denis Lynch field goal.
Five of USC’s next six possessions ended in punts, however, the first two of which Washington State parlayed into long touchdown drives.
The Cougars (4-2, 1-2) capped a 92-yard with a 12-yard Cameron Ward touchdown pass to Robert Ferrel. Wazzu then went 75 yards in a possession culminating with Ward finding Nakia Watson on a 1-yard score.
Washington State’s 14-10 lead evaporated by halftime courtesy of a 4-yard Travis Dye touchdown carry. The USC defense dominated from there, pitching a second-half shutout for the first time since a Week 1 rout of Rice.
The Cougars failed to advance past the USC 38-yard line on any of its five, second-half possessions.
The Trojans — coming into Saturday’s contest with a nation-best plus-14 turnover margin on the season — went without a takeaway. However, they forced Washington State into three punts, made a fourth-down stop and contained the Cougars on the game’s final possession.
The 316 yards Washington State accrued were more than 64 fewer than its season average, and Ward’s 172 yards on 19-of-32 passing were 116 fewer than his average through five games.
USC scored 12.2 points fewer than its season average and with 369 total yards, finished more than 111 below its mark coming into Week 6. Caleb Williams went just 15-of-29 passing for 188 yards but connected twice with Mario Williams for scores.
The second, a 25-yarder late into the third quarter, gave USC a 10-point cushion. Dye’s 149 yards rushing helped carry the burden with the passing game’s struggles.
–Field Level Media