HONOLULU – Justin Davis ran for 74 yards and a touchdown and No. 24 USC’s defense picked up for its shaky offense, masking mixed performances by battling quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek in a 30-13 win over Hawaii on Thursday night.
Kessler salvaged a bad start with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor then gave way to Wittek early in the third quarter. Wittek played more of a manager’s role, handing off to Davis more often than throwing.
Both quarterbacks were playing for a starting job, but neither did enough to make a choice clear for coach Lane Kiffin.
USC’s defense intercepted Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham four times and sacked him seven times, directly setting up each USC score. Tre Madden had 18 carries for 109 yards while starting for injured Silas Redd.
USC star wide receiver Marqise Lee had eight catches for 104 yards, mostly in the second half.