Kedon Slovis’ first start for USC was fantastic. The freshman was 28-of-33 passing for 377 yards as USC beat No. 23 Stanford 45-20 Saturday night.
Pressed into action because of a season-ending ACL tear suffered by starting QB JT Daniels in a Week 1 win over Fresno State, Slovis tossed three touchdowns as the Trojans pulled away from the Cardinal in the second half.
Stanford jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the first half before Slovis and the USC offense got cooking in the second quarter. A 39-yard pass from Slovis to Amon-Ra St. Brown cut the lead to 17-10, and a second TD pass from Slovis to St. Brown with 31 seconds to go in the half gave USC a 24-20 lead, and an advantage it would never relinquish.
Slovis’ third touchdown came as USC was putting the clamps on Stanford. After the USC defense stuffed RB Cameron Scarlett on a fourth down at the Cardinal’s own 34, Slovis found Tyler Vaughns for a 16-yard touchdown pass four plays later.
Slovis came to USC as a three-star recruit in the class of 2019 and the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the country according to Rivals. He became Daniels’ backup when QB Jack Sears said he would enter the transfer portal ahead of the season-opener and got thrust into action when Daniels went down a week ago.
His performance against Stanford was much better than it was against Fresno State. Slovis was five-of-seven passing for 57 yards and an interception as USC struggled to put the Bulldogs away in the second half.
Stanford was also starting a backup quarterback Saturday night. Davis Mills made his first start for the Cardinal because K.J. Costello suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head while sliding in Week 1 against Northwestern.
But Mills was hampered by a Stanford running game that disappeared in the second half. After rushing for over 100 yards in the first half, the Cardinal couldn’t get anything going on the ground in the second as the Trojans forced Mills to beat them through the air.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports: