USC Trojans defeat Minnesota Golden Gophers, 32-21

You're going to have games like that, especially on the road," Kiffin said.

"When things start not going your way, you kind of need to rely on the ground game. That's the first time we've done that out of three games. At least we know it's there as part of our offense.

Connor Cosgrove remained hospitalized Saturday in University of Minnesota Medical Center after undergoing his initial round of chemotherapy, but the walk-on receiver inspired his teammates with a pregame text message.

"It said, 'Shock the world. I love all you guys," Gophers coach Tim Brewster said after Minnesota's 32-21 loss to USC. "The team wanted to do something special today. There's great disappointment that we didn't get the job done."

Cosgrove's father, co-d...

These guys were going to come out fired up," Kiffin said. "This was going to be their Super Bowl. A win over SC, I'm sure, would have made lot of pain go away from last week.

The recap: The Gophers ignored the USC hype and hung with the nationally ranked Trojans for more than a half. But when Minnesota roused its crowd with an impressive touchdown to take the lead, USC immediately squashed its hopes with a kickoff return for a touchdown.

What was learned: The defense is improving, and won't be as overmatched as it appeared against South Dakota, giving the Gophers a reasonable shot at winning.

• Tailback Duane Bennett sprained an ankle dur...