SALT LAKE CITY – Quarterback Travis Wilson threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay with 8 seconds left in regulation to lead No. 19 Utah to a 24-21 victory over No. 20 USC Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"It's awesome," said Clay immediately after the game. "I'm emotional right now. I grew up a USC fan, I'm a southern California kid. Scoring a game-winning touchdown against them is just crazy."
The Utes move to 6-1 on the season (3-1 in the Pac 12) and Southern California falls to 5-3 (4-2 in the Pac 12).
The Utes took a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter after a 24-yard touchdown run from Devontae Booker. The Trojan went back on top when USC quarterback Cody Kessler connected with wide receiver Darreus Rogers for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Utes made a defensive stand late in the fourth quarter, setting up the game-winning touchdown drive.
Wilson, who had lost the starting job to Kendal Thompson a week earlier, put the Utes in position for the go-ahead score by running for 19 yards and diving as he approached the goal line. Referees initially ruled the play a touchdown but overturned it on review. This gave Utah first-and-goal one foot from the end zone.
Booker was stopped short of the goal on the next play, setting up Wilson’s touchdown pass on second down.
USC returned the ensuing kickoff to their 28 yard line. But the Trojans’ effort to throw a desperation score ended when Kessler was sacked by Nate Orchard and Hunter Dimick.
Utah travels to Tempe, Ariz. next Saturday to face No. 14 Arizona State (6-1).