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2013 Las Vegas Bowl final score: USC puts the clamps on Fresno State's offense, win 45-20

USC had a great game plan to slow down and stop Fresno State's prolific offensive attack.

Ethan Miller

Fresno State had their worst performance of the year in the Las Vegas Bowl when they were just boat raced from the start to the finish as they were rocked 45-20, and it wasn't even that close.

Heading into the game it was widely believed that the quarterback edge would be clearly in favor of Fresno State's Derek Carr, but that was not the case. USC's Cody Kessler completed 22 of 31 for 344 yards and four touchdowns, and Carr had a very off day with 217 yards by completing only 29 of 54 passes with a pair of touchdowns. Outside of the Cal Poly game where Carr did not play a lot, this USC game was his worst game by far.

The reason that Carr struggled so much was because of the game plan that USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast brought forth. Pendergast brought pressure from all over the field and made Carr extremely uncomfortable delivering the ball. Carr was missing wide open receivers when there was pressure and even when there was no pressure which is a credit to how much pressure that was brought.

The Fresno State offensive line was just a mess and did not help Carr's case to give him time to throw the ball, and neither did the game plan of running the ball just three times in the first half, and just six overall.

The Fresno State defense played about as well as they normally do which is not very good. The secondary was allowing USC receivers to be open all day long. Marise Lee and Nelson Agholor who combined for four touchdowns and 12 receptions for 212 yards.

This game got out of hand in the second quarter when USC rattled off 21 points -- and 28 in a row stemming back to the latter part of the first quarter -- to take a commanding 35-6 point lead.

In the second half Fresno State picked it up a little bit as Carr somewhat started to find his groove and found Davante Adams for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Fresno State then scored on a pick-six by Derron Smith early in the fourth quarter to make it an 18-point game to make the game cautiously interesting with nearly a full quarter to play, but Fresno State could not take advantage in this game.

This result was very surprising mainly because USC was on their third coach of the season and Fresno State's offense was thought to still have a very good game despite playing the best defense all year. Fresno State was completely shutdown in this game that is what made this result shocking; most assumed that USC could slow down Fresno State, but to completely shut them down was the shock.