Kedon Slovis becomes first USC QB to surpass 500 yards

ByKyle Bonagura ESPN logo
Sunday, November 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- USCtrue freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis became the first player in school history to throw for 500 yards in a game Saturday as the Trojans beat UCLA52-35.

Slovis finished the game, which has the potential to be coach Clay Helton's final game in charge, 37-of-47 passing for 515 yards with four touchdowns, breaking a record previously held by Matt Barkley (493 yards).

"Obviously, it's an honor to be up on that list, but I think it just reflects our receiving corps and the players around me," Slovis said. "We had four receivers up over 100 yards."

The record came on a 21-yard completion to running back Stephen Carr in the fourth quarter, which eclipsed Barkley's mark from 2012. Slovis' performance was also his third consecutive game with more than 400 yards passing, making him the first player in school history to accomplish that feat. USC finished the regular season 8-4, with a 7-2 record in Pac-12 play.

The opportunity to play with Slovis and a returning group of talented skill players is part of what Helton said he will use as a recruiting pitch at a dinner Saturday night.

"It doesn't matter if I'm the coach or you're the coach. USC is always going to be special. Always," Helton said. "And these players are strong. If you want to come do something special, you want to jump on the train with some damn good quarterbacks, damn good skill, some young kids and have a lot of fun. Come on."

Moments after the game ended, Helton and new athletic director Mike Bohn shared an on-field embrace.

"He just said, 'Man, I'm just so proud for you' and 'enjoy this,'" Helton said. "'Enjoy it with your kids, enjoy it with your family.'"

The decision Bohn faces now, however, is if the win will be Helton's final game as the Trojans' head coach. Bohn declined comment and an official decision shouldn't be expected until after next weekend because the Trojans are still in contention in the Pac-12 South.

If Utah is upset by either Arizona or Colorado between now and then, No. 23 USC would play in the conference title game -- which would make for an awkward situation if Helton was relieved of his duties before then.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of [the players] for finishing like they have -- finishing strong. And their trust in us as a coaching staff and what they did today," Helton said. "I couldn't be any happier. It gives us the opportunity, hopefully, to be in Santa Clara [for the Pac-12 title game]. We're going to be the biggest Wildcat and Buffalo fans you've ever seen over the next two weeks. But we put ourselves in position to have a great December and we'll see how it goes."

Luke Falk holds the Pac-12 single-game freshman record, throwing for 601 yards for Washington State in 2014. Former Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon, now at Baylor, holds the second spot with 520 yards, also in 2014.

Drake London, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman Jr.all had more than 100 yards receiving, making the Trojans the fourth team in the country in the past 20 years to have four 100-yard receivers in the same game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

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