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USC beats Fresno St 52-13 behind Kessler’s 4 TDs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cody Kessler threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another and No. 15 Southern California ended a trying week with a 52-13 win over Fresno State in Steve Sarkisian’s debut as the Trojans’ head coach.

The Trojans ran a school- and Pac-12 record 104 plays while racking up 37 first downs and 701 yards of total offense to Fresno State’s 16 first downs and 317 yards.

In all, 10 different Trojans caught passes in Sarkisian’s up-tempo offense.

For USC, the victory comes at the end of a distracting week for Sarkisian, punctuated by a tale of heroism by suspended defensive captain Josh Shaw that turned out to be a lie. Backup running back Anthony Brown also quit the team and called Sarkisian a racist, an allegation the coach and other players vehemently denied.

For the Bulldogs, the loss was their third straight in the series to USC.

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