USC scored only one touchdown in its 19-3 victory over Utah, but quarterback Cody Kessler was upbeat.
“I think we took some big strides to pull out a win under the circumstances we had,” Kessler said after the victory that improved the Trojans' record to 5-3.
Kessler completed 21 of 32 passes for 230 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown to reciever Nelson Agholor.
Kessler was sacked five times.
“That one definitely hurt,” he said of the hard-hitting Pac-12 contest Saturday at the Coliseum. “I’ll be sore in the morning.”
Kessler has passed for nine touchdowns, with five interceptions.
USC plays at Oregon State on Friday night.
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