In the third quarter of Fresno State’s game against USC, the Trojans sacked Bulldog quarterback Jake Haener, recovering the ball as it fumbled.
As fans in the Coliseum rose to their feet, Haener remained on the floor to later be carried away off the field. He’d remain off the field the remainder of the game.
“It’s not a season ending thing, thankfully. The initial report on the X-ray is a high-ankle sprain, it’s not broken so that’s good news,” said head coach Jeff Tedford.
The Bulldogs traveled over 200 miles to take on the Trojans at the Coliseum in the city of Angels. They took on their second Pac-12 team in a row, falling short once again as the Trojans took the 45-17 win.
Fresno State’s defense broke down from the start as USC quickly got into the red zone.
Despite crucial stops from Bulldog players like Gavriel Lightfoot and Evan Williams, a flag was called on Fresno State’s Bralyn Lux, moving the ball to the 2-yard line. USC’s Caleb Williams then made a complete pass to Jordan Addison for the first Trojan touchdown of the night and improving USC to 7-0 with 10:12 remaining in the first quarter.
Fresno State struggled offensively with a series of incomplete passes. The offensive debut in the Coliseum only lasted 1:04 minutes. The ‘Dogs’ first drive couldn’t move them past 1 yard, as Carson King punted the ball for 35 yards.
Williams carried the ball for 8 yards for USC’s second touchdown of the night, increasing their lead 14-0. The Trojans carried the ball offensively for the majority of the first quarter, rushing 57 yards.
Jalen Moreno-Cropper brought the necessary spark the offense desperately needed, rushing 27-yards from a successful pass by Haener for Fresno State to finally enter USC’s red zone going into the second quarter.
However, Haener’s pass intended for Josh Kelly for a touchdown was incomplete.
Abraham Montaño, who went 4-for-6 last week against Oregon State, scored the first points for the ‘Dogs with a 23-yard field goal. But USC still led, 14-3, at the start of the second quarter.
In the Trojans’ following drive, Addison rushed 5 yards and scraped the corner of the touchdown line, but it wasn’t enough for the Trojans. The officials recalled the touchdown and placed the ball at the 1-yard line. The Trojans still managed to push through the ‘Dogs’ D-line to score another touchdown, leading 20-3.
Erik Brooks responded by rushing 39 yards for the first Bulldog touchdown of the evening.
David Perales sacked Trojan Williams at a loss for 7 yards as the Bulldogs neared the end of the second quarter, though the Trojans answered as they sacked Haener during the ‘Dog’s offensive run.
The ‘Dogs started off the second half offensively, but after Haener’s injury in the third took him off the field, Logan Fife made his debut this season at the Coliseum.
With the Bulldogs’ momentum shaken because of the injury of their quarterback, USC’s Austin Jones scored another touchdown, leading 28-10.
Fife made a complete pass to Raymond Pauwels Jr., taking 26 yards for the Bulldogs. Malik Sherrod then followed by carrying the ball for 32 yards into a second Bulldog touchdown. The ‘Dogs still trailed behind the Trojans 28-17.
Travis Dye scored another touchdown for the Trojans as Haener reentered the Coliseum in crutches. Mims rushed the ball for 40 yards for Fresno State’s first down.
Fresno State again put Montaño up for a 48-yard field goal kick, but fell short.
USC kicked off the final quarter of the game with another touchdown, leading 42-17.
As Fresno State continued offensively without their starting quarterback, the Trojans sacked Fife at a loss of 7 yards with 10 minutes left in the game.
Fresno State continued its drive, but with the defensive line losing their safety Evan Williams earlier in the game, and the offensive team losing Haener, the team struggled to keep USC out of the red zone and struggled to score with a big part of their offense in crutches.