No. 25 USC opened up the Las Vegas bowl against No. 21 Fresno State with a 12-play, 65 yard drive capped off by a Cody Kessler 10-yard touchdown strike to highly touted wide receiver Marqise Lee.
Rather than be happy with the success of the game opening score and kick the ball to the Bulldogs, interim head coach, offensive coordinator Clay Helton, decided to gamble.
In Vegas. Who’d have guessed?
Kicker Andre Heidari lined up to kick the ball off, per the norm, but instead busted out an onside kick. At first it appeared USC recovered and would have the ball back. But, a penalty for kick catching interference was called, and, upon further review, was actually the correct call.
Check out the GIF below.
USC has been the beneficiary of three Kessler touchdown passes so far and have a 28-6 lead midway through the second quarter.
Prior to the game, USC’s Helton and Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter exchanged pleasantries, per an Associated Press report.
”We know that the team and all Bulldog fans are in for a fantastic week,” DeRuyter said. “We also know the challenge of playing against a Pac-12 school and look forward to competing against a very talented Trojan squad.”
Helton mirrored the sentiment.
It is a tremendous honor and a great reward to our team and what they have been able to accomplish in the 2013 season,” Helton said. “We look forward to our trip to Las Vegas and the challenge of competing against one of the better teams in the country.”