LOS ANGELES -- The University of Utah's chances for a perfect season ground to a halt in Los Angeles Saturday, as the USC Trojans handed the No. 3 Utes their first loss of the season.
Utah's opening drive ended in a punt, and USC scored on their first outing to give them a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Utes were able to answer back with a drive that finished with a 30-yard TD pass from Travis Wilson to Britain Covey, and the Utah defense pinned the Trojans back on their goal line and forced a punt on the following possession.
Covey returned that punt 40 yards to reach the 2 yard line and set up Bubba Poole fora short TD jaunt that gave the Utes their first lead at 14-7. But the rest of the half would largely go USC's way, as after several punts the Trojans scored on a later drive following what would be the first of two interceptions during the first half.
The most devastating moment for Utah came on an attempt to convert on 4th-and-2 as time dwindled in the second quarter. Wilson's pass was picked off and returned 54 yards by Cameron Smith to make it 28-14 USC as halftime drew near.
The Utes managed to fight into field goal position in that remaining time, and Andy Phillips was good from 53 yards out on a kick that initially looked to be a miss but ultimately veered back between the uprights with 0:05 left in the half. Time would expire on a squib kick, sending both teams to the locker rooms.
The next score came late in the third quarter. After getting stuffed on 3rd-and-goal, the Trojans went for it on 4th-and-goal, electing for a short rush. The ruling of a TD was reviewed but ultimately confirmed, giving USC a 35-17 lead with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
USC continued to outplay Utah, scoring yet again with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter to make it 42-17 in the Trojans' favor.
With four minutes left in the game, Utah saw a spark of life as Wilson completed a pass to Covey for 66 yards and a touchdown, narrowing the gap to 42-24. Utah's defense held strong on the following USC drive, giving Travis Wilson and Co. the ball back with under two minutes to play.
That drive floundered, however, and a desperate long bomb pass from Wilson on fourth down and with seconds left on the clock was picked off by the Trojans in the end zone.
The Utes fall to 6-1 on the season. They play next on Oct. 31, when they will host Oregon State. That game is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. MT.
FOX 13's Rebecca Cade caught up with Utah players for reaction right after the game. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.