This was the first time Kedon Slovis looked like the 2019 version for an entire game. Now let’s see if it happens in a game USC doesn’t lead 28-0 before the cardboard cutouts make their seats warm.
Maybe one of the worst collective performances by a group of backs in USC history. And I’ve already said to blame the offensive line. But let’s be honest: Running the ball has been a consistent problem. Imagine running against Alabama?
Who was open? Everyone against Washington State’s depleted secondary. It was like playing a video game. Did you know that no USC receivers made the final ballot for the Biletnikoff Award? Not enough games.
Yes, there were lineman out (Andrew Vorhees) or injured (Liam Jimmons). But the run blocking was awful and the pass protection was not much better.
The run-and-shoot offense isn’t conducive for the line to make a lot of tackles. For example, Marlon Tuipolotu didn’t make a tackle. But they played their part.
Talanoa Hufanga moved up to linebacker and had nine tackles plus an interception. Does Kana’i Mauga’s emergence explain why Palaie Gaoteote entered the transfer portal?
Chris Steele had a holding penalty; a hands-to-the-face penalty and a face mask that was missed by the Pac-12 officials. He also missed a QB sack after racing untouched into the backfield. And all this was against a fairly awful QB.
Parker Lewis missed a FG and there were 10 men on the field for a punt return. Doesn’t matter against Washington State.
Todd Orlando blitzed less because he faced a run-and-shoot offense. But this game illustrated why Graham Harrell’s disdain for running the ball can hurt. Remember how USC said it would throw more to the tight end this season? They didn’t catch a pass Sunday.
Clay Helton? He was at the game.