USC WON: The No. 13 Trojans (3-1) bounced back from a tough loss to Stanford last week by beating California (1-3), 27-9 at the Coliseum. Tailback Silas Redd rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown as USC piled up 296 yards on the ground. Matt Barkley had another subpar outing, throwing for 192 yards with two interceptions, but he did toss two touchdown passes to wide receiver Marqise Lee. Cal quarterback Zach Maynard was 18 of 33 for 173 yards with two interceptions, and receiver Keenan Allen led the Bears with nine catches for 94 yards. Cal has scored just two touchdowns against USC in the last five meetings between the two teams.
WHY USC WON: Stymied by an off-sync passing attack, the Trojans took to the ground. Cal was unable to stop the USC running game, which piled up 296 yards. Both Redd and Curtis McNeal (115 yards) topped the century mark and the Trojans held the ball almost 13 minutes in the fourth quarter.
WHEN USC WON: This was an ugly win for the Trojans and it wasn't secured until Andre Heidari's 41-yard early-fourth-quarter field goal made it a two-score deficit for the Bears. Cal never took advantage of USC's sluggish offense and was hamstrung by untimely penalties and turnovers.
WHAT USC WON: USC couldn't afford another loss if it wanted to keep its remote national title hopes alive. While the Trojans didn't look like world beaters, a win is a win.
WHAT CAL LOST: With the Trojans playing at such a low level, it was a golden opportunity for Cal to break its eight-game losing streak to USC. But Jeff Tedford's offense continued to struggle and now Cal will need to work extra hard to avoid a losing season.