Live updates: USC 7, Western Michigan 0 in first quarter

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figcaption,#liveblog-description,#top-button-container,#bottom-button-container,#lb-topper-meta{padding-left:20px;padding-right:20px}.lb-widget.lb-widget-image,.lb-widget.lb-widget-video{padding-left:0;padding-right:0}.lb-widget.lb-widget-image figure.lb-size-small{padding-left:10px;padding-right:20px}.lb-widget.lb-widget-image figure.lb-size-small figcaption{padding-left:0;padding-right:0}.lb-hide-mobile{display:none}.lb-hide-desktop{display:inherit}article.lb-card{padding:30px 0 0 0}.lb-card-contents{width:100%;float:none}header.lb-card-header{padding-right:20px;padding-left:20px;padding-bottom:0}} Sept. 2, 2017, 2:28 p.m.

USC opened the season Saturday against Western Michigan at Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum. Get your updates here throughout the game.

Sept. 2, 2017, 2:28 p.m.

USC strikes first and leads 7-0

Ronald Jones II made that drive look very easy. He bowled over Western Michigan for a 29-yard gain then shrugged off an arm tackle and cruised 16 yards for USC’s first score of the season. Jones packed on weight this off-season to be a more powerful back, and it showed. USC leads 7-0.

Sept. 2, 2017, 2:23 p.m.

USC will start

Western Michigan won the toss and elected to defer. USC will begin with the ball on its own 25-yard line.

Sept. 2, 2017, 2:02 p.m.

Saturday’s starters for the Trojans’ season opener

Sept. 2, 2017, 11:27 a.m.

USC’s Chuma Edoga (70) squares off against teammate Oluwole Betiku during a spring practice. Edoga is replacing multiyear starter Zach Banner at right tackle. (Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

Playing in high school or watching from the bench, a new player can forget one unchangeable fact about college football: The dominant emotion of the game is not excitement. It is not school pride. There are big men on the field trying to make you mess up. Trying to hurt you. The dominant emotion is fear.

Above all else, that is what  safety Chris Hawkins remembers about his first start four seasons ago against Fresno State.

“I was scared,” Hawkins said after one of USC’s final practices before Saturday’s opener against  at the Coliseum. “I was super scared. I mean, I was nervous. I was 178 pounds at the time, and I was 19 years old, and that feeling was crazy being in front of all those fans. And I was shaking in my boots a little bit.”

Hawkins, a fifth-year senior now looked to by teammates for advice, offered one piece of wisdom for the eight Trojans who will be stepping into full-time roles for the first time Saturday: If you’re not a little scared before a game, something is wrong.

USC will march into its opener more battle-hardened than a year ago, when it was trampled by Alabama. Eight Trojan starters played extensively last season on offense; nine did so on defense.

But USC has designs on much more than merely another bowl win. In the moments after the Trojans’ wild Rose Bowl victory in January, a time usually reserved for unabashed celebration, athletic director  delivered a sober assessment outside USC’s locker room.

“We’re not there yet,” he said. The victory was nice; but it was not among USC’s best.

Sept. 2, 2017, 11:24 a.m.

Western Michigan running back Jarvion Franklin, a 225-pound bruiser, rushed for 1,353 yards last season and, according to USC coach Clay Helton, is “great between the tackles.” (David Dermer / Associated Press)

USC (0-0) vs.  (0-0), Saturday, 2:15 p.m., Coliseum

TV:  Networks. Radio: 710 AM

Marquee matchup

USC’s defensive front seven vs. Western Michigan’s running game: The defensive front has the potential to be USC’s best in years. It will receive an immediate test because Western Michigan’s running game, USC coach  said, is among the best the Trojans will see this year. It is a three-pronged attack. Jarvion Franklin, a 225-pound bruiser, rushed for 1,353 yards last season and, according to Helton, is “great between the tackles.” Jamauri Bogan “is a jitterbug” and LeVante Bellamy “is a true speed guy,” Helton said. USC has four legitimate All-Pac-12 contenders on its front: linebackers Uchenna Nwosu, Porter Gustin and Cameron Smith and lineman Rasheem Green.

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