USC earned a measure of respect back for an otherwise lost season Saturday with a 42-24 win over No. 3-ranked Utah, thanks in large part to freshman linebacker Cameron Smith, who intercepted Utah quarterback Travis Wilson three times.
The upset handed the Utes (6-1) their first loss of the season as the unranked Trojans, led by interim coach Clay Helton, improved to 4-3 less than two weeks after head coach Steve Sarkisian was fired.
Smith returned one of his interceptions 54 yards for a touchdown with 1:04 left in the first half.
USC quarterback Cody Kessler completed 21 of 28 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown as NFL scouts from nine teams were credentialed for the game. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was Kessler's primary target, catching eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. Utah running back Devontae Booker, one of the top pro prospects in the game, rushed 14 times for 62 yards and caught six passes for 49.
Utah remains in control of the Pac-12 South because every other team in the division has at least two conference losses.