No. 20 USC Drops Season Opener to No. 1 Alabama, 52-6|
Sept. 04, 2016
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Max Browne went 14-for-29 with 101 yards in his first career start, but the No. 20 Trojans fell to No. 1 Alabama 52-6 on Saturday night.
ArDarius Stewart was open in the end zone behind the secondary when Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts hit him for a 39-yard score midway through the second quarter that made it 7-3 and put Alabama ahead to stay.
Right after halftime, Hurts found Stewart alone near the Alabama 40 and the receiver sprinted up the right sideline untouched for a 71-yard touchdown and a 24-3 lead. USC punter Chris Tilbey bobbled the snap on the ensuing drive to set up Alabama at the Trojans 15 and lead to a 7-yard run by Hurts, who later added a 6-yard score.
Hurts fumbled away his first snap after coming in late in the first quarter for redshirt freshman Blake Barnett, who was ineffective in the first two drives after becoming the youngest Tide quarterback to start under Saban. Barnett later returned to throw a 45-yard touchdown.
Matt Boermeester scored the first points of the game with a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter, and again converted in the third quarter from 41 yards out.
USC: The Trojans may be targeting their first Pac-12 title since 2008, but they weren't ready to compete with the defending national champions.
''Obviously one game does not make a season. We played a very good team,'' USC coach Clay Helton said. ''They played to their potential. The cold hard truth is we did not play up to ours.''
USC: Before facing another top 10 team, the Trojans are home next week against Utah State. They go to No. 8 Stanford for their Pac-12 opener on Sept. 17.