Kedon Slovis Leads Team Cardinal to Win vs. Team Gold in 2021 USC Spring Game

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 17, 2021

Southern California quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) throws a pass during an NCAA football game against UCLA Saturday, Dec 12, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

With fans in attendance for the first time in more than a year, the USC football team took the field, and Team Cardinal came out on top 27-7 over Team Gold.

Returning starter Kedon Slovis, who threw for 1,921 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions in six games to earn an All-Pac-12 first-team selection last year, was out to fight for his job in front of a stellar freshman class of signal-callers in Miller Moss and Jaxson Dart as well as senior Mo Hasan, who was also on the field Saturday.

He didn't get off to a strong start, as Dorian Hewett picked him off when he tried to launch the ball facing a 3rd-and-long on the opening drive.

Conversely, Hasan got Team Gold on the board on their first drive. He found Texas transfer Keaontay Ingram for a 49-yard pass and then got a ball to Bru McCoy, who fought off a double-team to get to the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown.

USC Football @USC_FB

EXPLOSIVE‼️ @keaontay_ingram #FightOn✌️ https://t.co/lcf1yn5v9Z

USC Football @USC_FB

Gold takes the lead on @buhbuhbru TD! Gold: 7 Cardinal: 0 #FightOn✌️ https://t.co/vvl5lQOspK

Hasan's impressive start was short-lived, as he limped off the field following a nine-yard run. Moss took over for the leading Team Gold, but Chris Steele picked him off.

USC Football @USC_FB

NO ❌ FLY ❌ ZONE @KinggChris7 with the pick! #FightOn✌️ https://t.co/uNXeWtfYiK

New offensive line coach Clay McGuire, who was hired in January after two years in the same role with Texas State, has been tasked with finding a replacement for left tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, though redshirt freshman Courtland Ford is expected to step easily into the role.

The offensive line was an early pain point for Team Cardinal, who allowed their quarterback to go down on two separate instances early and eventually had to settle for earning their first points on a field goal before doubling their score to make it 7-6 midway through the second quarter.

Veteran running backs Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai are also back for the 2021 season, and a pair of newcomers in Ingram and freshman Brandon Campbell joined that group.

The scoring onslaught continued for Team Cardinal as Carr found the end zone with four minutes to play in the half.

USC Football @USC_FB

TOUCHDOWN!! @yt_deon doing what he does best. #FightOn✌️ https://t.co/j4l5nhZI5s

The running backs were the heroes of the day, with Ingram fitting in as expected behind Carr and Malepeai, who gave Team Cardinal the 20-7 lead in the third quarter on a 4th-and-goal run from the 1-yard line.

His score capped a drive that was highlighted by a 45-yard pass from Slovis to Drake London.

USC Football @USC_FB

Hit him deep. @Kedonslovis 🎯 @DrakeLondon_ #FightOn✌️ https://t.co/C6607IH9XK

Drake Jackson, who earned All-Pac-12 second-team honors as a sophomore last season, stood out on defense.

Chris Treviño @ChrisNTrevino

Drake Jackson basically ends a series on his own. Bats the ball down at the line on first Tackle on RB for one yard on second Sack on third down #USC

Team Cardinal held that hefty lead on Team Gold heading to the fourth quarter, which used a running clock. Michael Jackson III nabbed a pass from Dart in the back right corner of the end zone to score the final points of the game.

Overall, USC showed versatility at quarterback and eagerness on the defensive line, though the offensive line had some holes that allowed trouble to pop through for whoever had the ball.

The Trojans have until Sept. 4, when they'll host San Jose State, to work out the kinks.