USC Vs Utah Recap and Reactions
On Saturday evening the USC Trojans hosted Pac 12 south rival Utah. The Utes picked up their second win against the Trojans in Los Angeles with their first win dating all the way back to 1916. The Trojans fell to 3-3 with the 42-26 beat down.
Offensive success despite not finishing in the red zone.
When you only score 26 points and lose by double-digits you can chalk it up to the offense not being able to move the ball. That however was not the case. Kedon Slovis and this offense had looked better than the last couple of weeks with balancing the run and pass game.
Overall, the offense had put up 493 yards but only scored three touchdowns and kicked a field goal. There were times where the offense would move the ball down the field meticulously without much difficulty. There were a good three or four drives where USC would drive the length of the field but end up stalling towards the end and settling for a field goal.
Kedon Slovis went 33 for 53 passing for 401 yards and two touchdowns with the only blemish being an interception. The offensive line did a good job only allowing two sacks with this experienced Utah front seven.
Drake London, as always, had another performance proving why he is one of, if not the best receiver in the league. London had 16 catches for 162 yards. It’s no question the offense runs through London, at least through the air.
Tahj Washington and Gary Bryant Jr. each had a decent game. Bryant and five catches for 85 yards and Tahj Washington made a few plays having four catches for 56 yards.
The Trojans rushing attack that features three very capable running backs had a below-average day. Keaontay Ingram had 16 carries for 70 yards. Darwin Barlow, who looks like he’s coming into this own in this offense, had 6 carries for 29 yards with a couple of angry runs. Vavae Malepeai who looks like his role is reserved for most goal line and short yardage work had only 3 carries and a touchdown in garbage time.
Trojans Defense Struggles Continue
While the Trojans didn’t struggle to move the ball the same cant be said for stopping the ball on defense. The Trojans allowed as many yards as they had offensively with 486 yards.
The Trojans were absolutely sliced and diced through the air and on the ground. The passing attack was surgical, to say the least. Sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising who is looking more and more like he should’ve been starting the whole season only threw 28 times. 22 of those went for 306 yards three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The combination of Utah’s freshman receivers Devaughn Vele, who led the team with 84 yards, and Money Parks both had found the end zone. As well as the veteran tight end duo Brant Kuithe and Dalton Kincaid who in fact scored on a jet sweep. Whenever teams run “sideline to sideline” against this Todd Orlando defense, as athletic as those guys are they can’t seem to close off the edge and make plays when teams go horizontal.
Perhaps the most well-known player on that Utes offense is Junior Receiver/Returner Britain Covey. He was held to a modest day with five catches for 67 yards.
The Trojans’ run defense was absolutely gashed by Sophomore running back Tavion Thomas who had 16 carries for 113 yards. As good as Drake Jackson and that defensive line are in rushing the passer, the area they need the most improvement who be defending the run. The Trojans have given up 652 rushing yards in the three games they’ve lost his year.
The linebackers certainly need to play better in the middle of the field where most teams throw against this squad. The secondary played decently, but, if this defense has any hopes of being at least somewhat effective they have to stop the run.
Overall, Coach Donte Williams and this squad need to be better in all phases of the game. Yes, they were able to move the ball but that means nothing if you can’t cash in and score touchdowns. As for this defense, they need to create turnovers and stop teams from getting In a rhythm passing and running the ball. Tackling and shedding tackles will need to be something to work on especially this week as they go against 14th ranked Notre Dame Saturday night.