I picked USC to beat Washington State, 31-27, so I was close on the margin of victory as the Trojans actually won, 39-36.
But what a performance to analyze:
- USC is utterly incapable of putting pressure on the QB with its front seven.
- USC is also unable to provide consistent pass-or-run blocking.
- USC also comes up with some really sloppy penalties.
- I’ve written since August (and not really seen it elsewhere) that the secondary was a problem. It gave up 344 yards passing and looked shaky the entire game.
- I think USC was fortunate Mike Leach tried a field goal near the end of the game. Washington State was 3 for 3 on fourth down.
- A mild surprise was USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast playing some zone defense. But it was obvious the players didn’t know what they were doing in an unfamiliar coverage.
- The question is where USC goes from here? Perhaps fairly far within the Pac-12. The teams USC plays are so bad that it doesn’t matter if USC is undisciplined and doesn’t have an identity. It can still squeak out a victory over Washington State.