Cotton Bowl Classic

No. 4 USC holds off W Michigan 49-31 with big 4th quarter

Sam Darnold's offense sputtered and misfired in the stifling 99-degree heat. The Southern California defense struggled to stop Western Michigan's running game.

Although a fourth-quarter flurry erased the Trojans' struggles on the scoreboard, they left with respect for the Broncos and determination to get better.

Ronald Jones II ran 37 yards for the tiebreaking touchdown with 6:57 to play Saturday, and No. 4 USC rallied from a second-half deficit for a 49-31 victory in both schools' opener.

"It's just stuff that we have to go through," said Darnold, who failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time during USC's 10-game winning streak. "You're going...