The Trojan football team was singing in the rain on Saturday afternoon, pouncing early and taking advantage of its opportunities on its way to a 44-17 win over the Washington State Cougars.Whoa Nelly · Junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) posted a career-high 220 receiving yards in USC’s 44-17 win over Washington State on Saturday. The Tampa, Florida, native also became USC’s all-time leader in punts returned for touchdowns, with the fourth of his career. – Photo courtesy of John McGillen/USC AthleticsUSC (6-3, 5-2 Pac-12) is now 3-0 following losses this season, which USC head coach Steve Sarkisian lauded his team for.“I don’t know how many teams get faced with some of the adversity that we’ve been faced with, in some of these gut-wrenching losses, like we had last week [at Utah],” Sarkisian said. “The thing that impresses me the most is the way that these guys continue to come right back to work, take the tough coaching, practice their tails off, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and play with amazing effort.”Redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler, junior wideout Nelson Agholor and freshman wideout JuJu Smith got right back to work on Saturday, managing career performances on the frigid day in Pullman. Before being pulled from the game to give redshirt freshman quarterback Max Browne some reps, Kessler managed 400 pass yards on 21-of-32 passing, with five touchdowns. His 400 yards broke his previous single-game record of 394 against Fresno State.Kessler’s favorite target, Agholor, finished the day with a career-high 220 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown and a punt return score. Only South Carolina wide receiver Pharaoh Cooper had more receiving yards over the weekend.Though the Trojans prepared all week to face WSU quarterback Connor Halliday, an unfortunate turn of events knocked the nation’s leading passer out of the game. Early in the first quarter, USC junior defensive end Leonard Williams rolled across the back of Halliday’s legs and the quarterback immediately went down, writhing in pain. Halliday had surgery after the game on what reports say is a broken right fibula.At that point, USC was already up 14-0. After a failed drive by each team to open up the game, Agholor returned a Washington State punt to the house for a 65-yard score. It was the Tampa, Florida, native’s second punt return touchdown of the season, and the fourth of his career — a new school record.The Trojans stayed hot on the next drive, as senior linebacker Hayes Pullard picked off Halliday’s pass to the 19-yard line. Pullard’s first interception of the season led to the first of three touchdowns from Kessler to freshman wide receiver JuJu Smith to put the Trojans up 14-0 in just the first five minutes of the game.But after looking explosive out of the gate, USC’s offense stalled. The Trojans consistently made big plays to get downfield, but were unable to follow them up and get in scoring position, finishing the day just two-for-11 on third down.Kessler’s 49-yarder to Agholor to put USC on WSU’s 31 exemplified this trend. A run for no gain and two incomplete passes forced senior kicker Andre Heidari to kick a field goal, which put USC up 17-0.Later in the second quarter, the Trojans capitalized on a WSU turnover on downs. Kessler threw a beautiful pass to Smith for their second connection of the day, which put USC up 24-0.Though the scoreline didn’t show it, WSU’s backup quarterback, Luke Falk, filled in for Halliday admirably. The redshirt freshman finished the game with 370 yards on 38-of-57 passing, with two touchdowns and an interception.Falk’s line got a boost when USC’s standout linebacker Su’a Cravens suffered a knee sprain in the second quarter. Cravens, a sophomore, injured his right knee on a non-contact play, and sported crutches following the game. Sarkisian said he did not believe the injury was serious.Freshman cornerback-wide receiver Adoree’ Jackson and sophomore safety Leon McQuay III also suffered injury scares when they collided while attempting to pick off one of Falk’s passes downfield.Sarkisian insisted that getting his injury-depleted team back to full strength was a priority over the upcoming bye week.“We’ll embrace the bye, that’s for sure,” Sarkisian told the Pac-12 Network after the game. “We’ve got to get healthy.”The Cougars got on the board once before halftime to send the game into intermission with USC up 24-7. They also struck first in the second half, kicking a field goal to close the gap to just 14 points.Though the Trojans have struggled to close out games all year, they appeared to lock in after that.Kessler launched a rocket to Agholor for an 87-yard score before hitting Smith again as well as redshirt freshman wideout Steven Mitchell.Smith caught six passes on the day, three of which were touchdowns, marking a career high for the 17-year-old. Mitchell, meanwhile, hauled in just his second touchdown reception of his career. The first was Kessler’s seventh of the day in USC’s blowout over Colorado two weeks ago.The Trojans now have a week off before they gear up to take on the California Bears on Thursday, Nov. 13.Agholor insists that this month will be crucial for the team’s conference title hopes.“November is very important for this program,” Agholor said. “To play the way we did tonight and to finish the way we did, I think it keeps us in a good position moving forward. We’re talking about progressing throughout November. At the end of the day, if we can put the pieces together, we can probably do something special.”Quick hitsRedshirt freshman offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers became the first player from Delaware to ever start a game for USC.With his punt return touchdown, Agholor became USC’s all-time leader in punts returned for touchdowns (4).USC avenged its 10-7 loss to WSU at home last season.The Cougars fall to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in Pac-12 play.Allen became the only player in the nation to have more than 100 all-purpose yards every game this season.Allen also became the first Trojan since Heisman winner Marcus Allen to have more than 100 rush yards in six consecutive games.By winning its sixth game of the season, USC rendered itself bowl eligible.WSU finished with just 34 rushing yards.