LOS ANGELES — If Southern California’s victory in the first game in Pac-12 history is any indication of what’s in store, the rest of the country had better not fall asleep before the West Coast games are finished.
Matt Kalil blocked Utah’s 41-yard field-goal attempt on the final play, and Torin Harris returned it for a touchdown that wasn’t counted until two hours after the game in USC’s 23-14 win Saturday night in this expanded league’s wacky debut.
Matt Barkley passed for 264 yards for the Trojans (2-0, 1-0), but the Utes (1-1, 0-1) drove into field-goal range from their 33 in the final 1:01, helped by two favorable rulings that put them in position for a tying field goal.
That’s when Kalil easily swatted down Coleman Petersen’s final kick, and Harris returned it all the way to the end zone.
The officials appeared to rule the touchdown didn’t count because of an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty when much of the USC bench ran onto the field to celebrate. But long after the Coliseum had emptied, Pac-12 officials announced Harris had scored after all, saying the penalty was declined by rule.
■ No. 13 Oregon 69, UNR 20 – At Eugene, Ore., Darron Thomas tied a school record with six TD passes, and the Ducks handed the Wolf Pack a blowout loss in UNR’s opening game.
LaMichael James ran for 67 yards and a TD , caught a scoring pass from Thomas and returned a punt for a score to help the Ducks (1-1) to their 17th straight home victory.
The loss snapped UNR’s seven-game winning streak, dating to last season when it went 13-1.