USC vs. Notre Dame: Comedy of Compounded Clangers

USC vs. Notre Dame
November 24, 2016 at 5:14pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 59,821 (of 78,467)
Total Time: 3 hours 17 minutes

Two SCents: 

Despite what was probably JT Daniels’ best game all season, the Trojans could not overcome a pair of fumbles and recurrent errors. In a paradoxical manner, they fought harder than anyone expected out of them yet repeated some excruciating trends like zero points in the third quarter.

CommBro Breaker/Bonus SCents:

The season is officially over for USC with no bowl game and a losing season. Freshmen on the roster born after November 25, 2000 literally hadn’t had a USC losing season in their lifetime. For some others, like Daniels, they weren’t old enough to remember a thing about it. That’s how big of a deal this is for the program. Clay Helton should be promoted to fan ASAP.

I’ve modified this expanding brain meme for the occasion.

You know it’s bad when your fan base feels it’s necessary to donate money to fly a banner saying “Lynn Swann—Please Fire Clay Helton”

It’s baffling why Swann intends to bring Helton back for another go when he has shown little to no improvement through 3.5 seasons as head coach.

From his first game as interim against Notre Dame in 2015 to this final ND game in 2018, Helton had about two dominant road game performances outside of Los Angeles (one against each of the Arizona schools). He has also gotten blown out on the road by Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, Alabama, Utah, Ohio State, and Texas. Don’t forget about ugly, grinding wins or close losses against teams he should have handled easily. The same applies to some atrocious home games. I can’t imagine this going over well with the fan base.

Home games haven’t broken 60,000 attendees at all this season. What will it look like in 2019 with Helton retained? Should we be prepared for the first back-to-back losing seasons since 1961?

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: JT Daniels maintained a career high 72% completion percentage despite throwing the ball more than 50 times.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: The Trojans averaged 4 points per third quarter this season.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: USC is 120th in the nation in turnover margin, which is also tied for last in the Pac-12.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #4: USC is 122nd in the nation in penalties per game and are 123rd in penalty yards per game.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #5: USC is 124th in the nation in interceptions with a mere 4. There are 35 players in the nation with as many or more interceptions than the entire USC team.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #6: The number of people saying “I’ve been a fan since 19__, but no longer.” Is this straw that broke Traveler’s back in a torrent of frustrating decisions made by the USC Athletic department? The nail in the Kiffin?

Misleading Stat of the Week #1: A USC QB has a passing efficiency of 165.5 and tied with the nation’s best for least number of interceptions thrown.

We’re talking about Jack Sears…who only has 28 career attempts.

Double CommBro Breaker

Also, in case you’re wondering about the title: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clanger. I needed to introduce British English to fully describe the depth of this era’s failures.

See you all next season if you’re still around. I should be back to writing full length posts. Thanks for your continued support!

USC vs. UCLA: Is the Season Over Yet?

UCLA vs. USC
November 17, 2018 at 12:40pm
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA: 57,116 (92,524)
Total Time: 3 hours 16 minutes

Two SCents: 

In a rivalry game where special teams had the best showing, USC loses against an equally bad 2-8 UCLA team. The Bruins have an excuse of a rebuilding year with a young team and new coach, while the Trojans have no excuse for every exasperating performance—win or lose—this season.

CommBro Breaker/Bonus SCents:

There’s not much left to be said about this team. The inability to stop the run…from the running back position or an unathletic UCLA QB, throwing a ton with a young and interception prone QB against the nation’s 111th rushing defense, and a QB slide short of the first down. All as ugly and embarrassing from one week to the next.

After back-to-back losses to the UCs, we should all be glad the Trojans won’t play UC Davis in football. This team will likely fall to 5-7 since they will be playing undefeated #3 Notre Dame next week. That means no bowl game and the worst record since 2000—when Paul Hackett got fired. It will likely be the 18th losing season in USC history, which actually includes a lot of 1-2 or 0-1 seasons in the late 1800s. If we’re looking at 1960 and beyond, it will only be the 6th losing season. That would also mean going 0-2 against the major rivals this season.

Oh and Brandon Pili totally should have been ejected for his ridiculous punch.

Dare we hope for good news on Monday?

Double CommBro Breaker

Annual crosstown pranks can be fun, but there’s such a thing as going too far. While impressive that someone managed to get paint onto the Bruin statue despite the box and surveillance cameras, I doubt they had the sense to use paints that are easy to wash off. Hard to consider it a prank when the bill could come out to a reported $20,000 dollars for a state-funded school.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1-10: The number of assignments I have due near this Thanksgiving holiday. I really wish I had the time to find some more ridiculous stats for you. Apologies to all you faithful readers. One more abridged version next week and I will be back in full, bitter glory next season.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #11: USC converted a 1st & 56 in one play! Too bad it was a score bug error. Or should I call it score bug bug or score bug²? Take what you can get…

USC vs. Cal: An Offensive Offense

USC vs. California
November 10, 2018 at 7:36pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 56,721 (of 78,467)
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Two SCents: 

Former USC defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, went into the Coliseum with his stacked roster of former head coaches, and handed an embarrassing loss to the man that fired him. USC’s previous loss to Cal was a triple overtime against an Aaron Rodgers’ team back in 2003.

CommBro Breaker/Bonus SCents:

Remember that WE PLAY campaign USC ran back in 2012? If it were brought back today, it’d be:

Done in photoshop in a hurried and shoddy manner. Like the coaching.

In a week, the Pac-12 South went from a possible 6-way tie to USC not having any chance of winning.

It’s been a long time since Cal became bowl eligible before USC. Since 1996, in case you’re wondering. So before 99% of current undergraduates at USC and Cal were born. With rivals UCLA and #3 Notre Dame left, the Trojans only have two shots left to get bowl eligibile. Realistically, only one shot.

How did the Trojans go from a 14-0 lead, with a chance to go by 17-0 or 21-0, spend their next three drives going: fumble, safety, then interception?

All they had to do at that point was next to nothing…like not give up a safety. That wasn’t even that difficult…but Helton is adamant at keeping Toa Lobendahn at center and not willing to put in the time to fix his consistently bad snaps.

Then you’ve got the defense, picking up a costly unsportsmanlike conduct after they had the Cal offense stopped on third down. No discipline for the nation’s 10th most penalized team. They also couldn’t contain Cal QB, Chase Garbers’ on some crucial runs.

Lastly, this aged like sour cream left out in the sun for two days:

They’ll probably be much closer to No-Win November.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: Cal’s coaching staff probably has the most former head coaches I’ve ever seen. Sure, some of them are from the high school level, but even that’s a rarity. Even if you exclude them, there’s still quite a few. There’s Beau Baldwin (Eastern Washington), Marques Tuiasosopo (Interim, Washington), Tim DeRuyter (Fresno State), Charlie Ragle (Chaparral HS), and Tony Tuioti (Kalaheo HS).

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: USC gained 13 yards on 18 plays in the third quarter, and 27 yards on 13 plays in the fourth quarter. That’s 40 yards in 31 plays for the entire second half of the game. A single one of Reid Budrovich’s punts went for more yards than the entire offense did, collectively, for the second half. That’s an average of less than 7 yards per drive in the second half. They lost more yards due to penalty this game (55), than they gained in the second half. I could keep going.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: Despite the above stat, USC actually won the time of possession battle this week. They have managed to find some interesting ways to screw up.

 

USC vs. Oregon State: Better Than Last Week

Oregon State vs. USC
November 3, 2018 at 7:05pm
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR: 35,817
Total Time: 3 hours 23 minutes

Two SCents: 

USC looked better after replacing Neil Callaway with Tim Drevno and Clay Helton calling the plays instead of Tee Martin. Does that mean USC played better or that Oregon State was worse than SC’s previous competition though?

CommBro Breaker

For the record, Oregon State came into the game as one of the worst teams (if not the worst team) in the conference. They have given up an average of 48 points per game against FBS teams and an FBS worst average of 4.5 sacks allowed per game. Even if you remove the 77-31 loss to Ohio State, FBS teams still averaged 43 points against the Beavers, with the lowest scores being 34 (Colorado) and 35 (Arizona). That means that Trojans only put up an average-ish offensive performance against the Beavers.

Furthermore, snaps are still a sore point for the center and the defense was getting picked apart on slant routes. Oregon State repeatedly pulled within 7 and had the potential to tie it several times. I could probably go on about the negatives for a while, but let’s take a reprieve while we can.

John Houston’s well-timed tackle for a loss was one of the best plays of the game. He almost turned Oregon State’s handoff into a sack. The poor Beaver running back was probably mad that the QB handed it to him so that the loss got chalked up to the RB.

It was also good to see USC convert on short yardage plays like the quarterback sneak and fullback dives while playing under center. That was something completely non-existent under Martin’s playcalling. Seeing the offensive line get a push two to three yards downfield on most plays satisfied a weary soul. That allowed Aca’cedric Ware to get his first career 200-yard rushing game. No matter who you’re playing against, having a 200-yard and 100-yard rusher in the game is an accomplishment.

Devon Williams also played admirably, with a huge touchdown catch, in relief of the injured Michael Pittman.

On special teams, Michael Brown made a career long 46-yard field goal.

Defensively, the Beavers were held to -9 rushing yards in the first half. Halfway through the third, the Beavers were desperately trying to keep their rushing stats above 0.

Reminds me of something…

With the win, USC is 1 more away from bowl eligibility. Sadly, such a low standard could still be missed. None of the remaining opponents can be marked off as a win: a Cal team that beat Washington last week and played #10 Washington State tough, a rivalry game against UCLA that is playing better than their 2-7 record would suggest, and, the other rival, an undefeated #3 Notre Dame. Strangely enough, the Trojans could still find themselves with a Rose Bowl berth if they win out in conference play and things bounce their way. It’s a pretty wild situation when the Trojans could potentially enter the Rose Bowl with anything between a 7-6 and 9-4 record or have an 18-year worst record of 5-7. Realistically, I see them making a lower tier bowl like Vegas or Sun.

Misleading/Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: By the end of the first drive, USC earned 50% more third downs conversions than they did in the entire ASU game last week…which basically just means they had three in that first drive, beating out the two they got last week.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: Heading into the game, the Trojan defense only had 18 sacks in 8 games. They picked up 6 more this week.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: It’s not often that a team has more carries than yards, but Oregon State managed that with 32 and 31, respectively.

 

 

USC vs. ASU: Sears Not Bankrupt

USC vs. Arizona State
October 27, 2018 at 12:41pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 47,406 (of 78,467)
Total Time: 3 hours 21 minutes

Okay, I had to make a Sears pun. It was ripe for the taking, much like this game that Clay Helton and his staff failed to close out on.

Can USC get 40% off on Helton’s salary?

Can the Pac-12 also get 40% off on the officials’ salaries? I showed up to watch the reviews but they kept letting it get interrupted with this football. Yes, I’m being facetious about the latter.

Two SCents: 

Mounting injuries on defense and a coaching staff that continues to get in the way of their own team prove to be insurmountable for third string quarterback, Jack Sears, to overcome. His play actually kind of makes you wonder why he was third on the depth chart anyway.

CommBro Breaker/Bonus SCents:

The last vestiges of arguments for Clay Helton’s head coach position have ended with the 19 game home winning streak. That was the first time the Trojans have lost in the Coliseum since Steve Sarkisian botched the game against to his former team, Washington, in 2015.

It’s not often that we hear of a third string quarterback starting a game. When was the last time USC played one not during garbage time? You’d have to go back to Paul Hackett’s second season in 1999 when Carson Palmer, John Fox, and Mike Van Raaphorst all played a few games that season.

The good news is that the offense looked a bit different than what we’ve seen throughout the season. The adjustments actually allowed Sears to thrive a bit. He was able to gain confidence and capped it off with a ridiculous pass to Vaughns to give the Trojans a sliver of a chance in the fourth quarter.

The punting (both kicking and receiving) crew looked fairly solid early on with a punt return TD and a few pinned deep into ASU territory, including at the one yard line. Giving up the 92-yard punt return TD kind of puts a significant mark on their performance though.

Talanoa Hufanga being out for the season puts this team’s defense at a huge disadvantage. With Bubba Bolden gone, and Isaiah Pola-Mao and Marvell Tell injured, only C.J. Pollard remains as a scholarship safety. The defense has to suffer this while also missing Porter Gustin and Cam Smith from the linebacking corps.

Lastly, that was a miserable game to watch in an 80+ degree and 94% humidity day. A good rule to live by is that the temperature and humidity level should both be lower than your grades in school.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: A new low in attendance numbers for Saturday with a shocking sub 50,000 people. Since this keeps coming up, I actually crawled back through records to see that last time it was lower. We have to go back to the 2001 season that played follow-up to a 5-7 2000 season. It was Pete Carroll’s first year and his 3-5 team competed in front of 44,800 against Oregon State early in November.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: An abysmally low third down conversion rate with 2 of 11 (18.18%).Eight games in, the Trojans are 117 out of 130 in third down conversion percentage.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: USC also happens to have the highest penalties yards per game in the Pac-12 and third most in the Power 5 conferences. They sit 124 out of 130 nationally.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #4: Are we allowed to have good ridiculous stats? I make the rules and I say yes. Tyler Vaughns scored touchdowns in an astounding three different ways: an 82-yard punt return to open USC’s possessions, a 36-yard pass to Michael Pittman to take the lead, and a desperately necessary 48-yard reception near the end of the fourth quarter.

Misleading Stat(s) of the Week #1: If you want something USC is #1 at, it’s for 80+ yard punt returns. They are tied with 11 teams…including ASU. Other than that, it’s PAT kicking percentage. This and the previous stat are the only two I could find, but they have to share this #1 spot with 69 other teams.

 

 

USC vs. Utah: Statistical Anomaly pt. 2

Utah vs. USC
October 20, 2018 at 5:10pm
Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT: 46,405
Total Time: 3 hours 12 minutes

Two SCents: 

Seven games in and the USC Trojans are in full Clay Helton road game form: anemic offense, bad snaps, and uninspired coaching that left freshman quarterback, JT Daniels, exiting the game with a possible concussion. If not for a few lucky plays, the offense would have been held scoreless for the first three quarters of the game.

CommBro Breaker

The defense may have faltered towards the end, but I would attribute that fault more to the offense. Week in and week out, they have to endure being on the field for 30% more plays and nearly 10 minutes of game time on the field than the failing offense. By the end of this Utah game, they looked absolutely exhausted, so Utah could continue to race them to death using perimeter runs.

I thought last week was a statistical anomaly, but this one is definitely worse in the grand scheme of things (especially since it ended in a loss). In fact, “anomaly” may not be the right word; this has definitely become a pattern for Clay Helton and his coaching staff. Year three is usually when a head coach fully installs their system and philosophy, leading to a strong team or a hollow mess of one. Find me one person that can believe it’s the former.

He probably looks like this

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: 205 yards of total offense. That’s seriously half of what Utah’s QB, Tyler Huntley, produced himself (398 total yards).

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: USC punted as many times as Utah scored (7). USC scored as many times at Utah punted (4).

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: The Trojans ran less than 60 plays (54), which resulted in a time of possession that was 9:32 less than their opponent.

Misleading Stat of the Week: 20% of USC’s first downs were a direct result of a Utah penalty and 10% were from fourth down conversions…but that’s only because USC only had a total of 10 first downs through the entire game. Ridiculous Stat of the Week #4: In the first half, USC’s defense had more sacks (5) than USC’s offense had first downs (4).

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #5: All three of Helton’s losses this season have been by double digits. They average a 16 point differential per loss.

Uplifting Stat of the Week #1: Only 2 penalties for 20 yards!! Yay!…Yet, by the end of the third quarter, they still had more penalties (2) than first downs (0 of 10)…I’m bad at this uplifting thing, huh?

Uplifting Stat of the Week #2: A 310 pound Jay Tufele ran 48 yards for a touchdown.

USC vs. Colorado: Statistical Anomaly

USC vs. Colorado
October 13, 2018 at 7:45pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 57,615 (of 78,467)
Total Time: 3 hours 42 minutes

Two SCents: 

#19AP/#18Coaches Colorado entered this game undefeated (5-0, 2-0 conf.) against a USC team that hasn’t lost to CU from the times of Howard Jones to the present and decided to put up a performance in recognition of that. The Trojan would’ve looked just as bad if not for some heroic catches by Michael Pittman and Tyler Vaughns.

CommBro Breaker/Bonus SCents:

Newcomer Palaie Gaoteote played well at linebacker in the absence of Cam Smith. The defensive back play as also fun to watch in the fourth quarter. There were more break ups there than the summer after a high school graduation.

It was also great to see Matt Barkley out there launching some shirts into the crowd with the cannon.

Professional level photo quality

The 13 penalties for 123 yards is bad, but the officials’ management of the game was worse. Dragging out a 7:30pm game to nearly four hours with unnecessary, ticky-tack penalties sucked lots of the enjoyment out of the game. Rumor is that Colorado didn’t even know they had scored the touchdown when they went for that inexplicable two point conversion. You’d think they’d tried to clean things up after the recent scandals.

Special teams also crapped out another mess.

Basically the entire game was some of statistical mess, so buckle up for the ridiculous stats of the week.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: USC had ZERO rushing yards at the end of the first half.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: JT Daniels’ 50% completion rate for 272 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. While the final stat line is acceptable for a true freshman starting his first season, the breakdown reveals a problem with the entire offense, especially in context of the rushing yard stats.

Quarter Passing Yards % of total passing yards
1st quarter 43 15.80%
2nd quarter 212 77.90%
3rd quarter 10 3.70%
4th quarter 7 2.60%

The second half passing yards (17) were less than 50% of the first quarter passing yards (43). That means almost all of his passing yards were a product of the second quarter. That’s 212 passing yards within those 15 minutes (77.9%), and basically nothing much else. You might say that this doesn’t include the two major drops that would’ve resulted in big plays/touchdowns, but that means this offense has an overreliance on explosive plays much like Sark’s offenses did. Clay Helton and his offensive coordinator continue to disappoint.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: USC has been on the losing end of the time of possession stat for the fifth straight game. The last time they had a higher TOP was against UNLV.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #4: Three home games in, USC attendance has hit a 10+ year low. Both the average (56,248) and peak attendance (58,708, vs. UNLV) are lower than USC’s previous 10 year low of 60,314 (vs. Oregon State, 2017). Bad football and ongoing renovations seem to be taking their toll on attendance.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #5: Colorado finished the third quarter with less rushing yards than the end of the second quarter. I guess neither team could really run in this one. Other than allowing a few fluky plays, Pendergast called a pretty good game.

 

 

USC vs. Arizona: Goal Line Torture

Arizona vs. USC
September 29, 2018 at 7:35pm
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ: 43,573 (55,675)
Total Time: 3 hours 26 minutes

Two SCents: Ridiculous Stats of the Week:

Games against the Arizona schools always bring out the strangest occurrences. Things like the Kiffin’s firing after a particularly bad ASU loss (this game was played on the 5 year anniversary of that event), weird timeout scenarios in Tucson, or the time they had to drag everyone out of the locker room to kick a field goal. There are plenty of other examples in the past several years, but I’m already way past two sentences. My point is, this game is no exception to the peculiarity, but this game is an exception to 2018’s two sentence rule.

A win is a win” is how the saying goes, but it’s starting to not feel that way. The ridiculous stat of the week section could not encompass all the ridiculousness that transpired, so this entire section has been hijacked for it.

Let’s start with the 25 minute scoring drought. Can’t win games if you can’t score and they spent half of it not scoring. The 24-0 lead got cut down to a 24-20 lead. It still took recovering an onside kick to preserve the win. Maybe scoring isn’t the best indicator, though, since that can be a bit difficult. What about third downs?

The Trojans finished the game going 5 of 16 on third down conversions after starting 3 of 4. From the moment they scored their first touchdown with 5:52 left in the first quarter, they did not convert another third down until there was 10:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. That’s nearly 40 minutes of game time without any third down conversions. This isn’t a cherry-picked stat. It’s not like an all-powerful USC offense managed to get first downs or score before even getting to third down.

Throw in some more bad snaps and three fumbles (two in back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter) and we’ve got ourselves some drama. That’s 11 fumbles on the season—averaging more than two per game. Here are how the last 6 meaningful drives went: punt, punt (3-and-out), punt (3-and-out), fumble, fumble, turnover on downs. And by last 6, I meant basically half of the Trojan’s drives (14).

Next up for criticism are the 18 penatlies for 169 yards. To put it in perspective, 40% of this season’s penalties came from this game. It is also at least a 11-year record high of penalties in single game. I didn’t have time to crawl back further than 2008, so it’s probably worse than that. That was all showcased in Arizona’s final scoring drive.

Who was feeling more pain during that goal line stand, I wonder? Helton had to be seething inside from all the penalties that brought the Wildcats to like the one inch line. On the other side, Sumlin was probably bristling that it took them a 4th and goal after countless plays to punch it in when the distance was about the length of one of their synthetic blades of grass.

There were 11 plays in the red zone, 8 of which were in a goal-to-go situation. Don’t forget about the 3 penalties near the end zone and four total in the 12 play drive. Officially, that got logged as an 8-play drive, since penalties don’t count as plays. All that to end in a missed PAT.

Imagine if you had no idea what was going on, you kept screwing up, going in the wrong direction, and when you finally get what you need to done, you still have no idea how to accomplish it next time. You just go home feeling like you wasted your entire day. Basically, a visit to the DMV. Oh, and probably what the coaching staff feels like.

Taken at a local USC watch party

CommBro Breaker

I may have spent 90% of the words writing about negative things, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t positives! Running for 253 yards in a game is an achievement for any team, but definitely for this team. That’s more rushing yards than their last three games combined! It was also the first time someone on the team had a 100-yard rushing performance since week one against UNLV. Both were as a result of Aca’Cedric Ware (10-100 vs. UNLV and 21-173 vs. AZ).

The USC defense also snagged its first interception of the season off of Marvell Tell’s efforts in the second quarter. Tell also managed to block the field goal attempt at the end of the second half.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week: Couldn’t help but sneak one more of these into the mix. USC is rank 122 of 129 in percentage of fourth down conversions allowed (77.78%).

 

USC vs. WSU: Home Win Streak Continues (Barely)

USC vs. Washington State
September 21, 2018 at 7:35pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 52,421 (of 78,467)
Total Time: 3 hours 27 minutes

Two SCents

It’s great for USC to win in a dramatic fashion and claw their way back up to a .500 record, but don’t let a win cloud all glaring flaws. The number of bad snaps and messy handoffs were astounding—those are things that shouldn’t happen more than once every several games.

CommBro Breaker

The Trojans also depended too much on the referees. SEVEN first down from penalties, which accounts for almost one third (30.4%) of their total first downs. On the other side, the defense allowed the Cougars converted 100% of their first downs (3 of 3).

However, the D did adjust during the half, going from 2 or 3 pass rushers in a nickel formation to more blitzes. That slowed Wazzu’s passing offense down enough to squeeze out the win. The offensive coaching staff still need to get their crap together

J.T. Daniels passed better this game and the  receivers also made some fantastic, body-contorting catches.

Lastly, being able to come back from down 10 to win a game is a step in the right direction. One could argue, though, that they never should have been down 10 in the first place.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week: USC lost as many rush yards (-53) as Washington State’s top rusher ran for (54). Of those 53 lost yards, 17 came from one miscue.

P.S. A few weeks ago I said I’d tried to confirm the maximum capacity of the Coliseum. It is 78,467. You’re welcome.

USC vs. Texas: Losing Streak in TX Continues

Texas vs. USC
September 15, 2018 at 5:21pm
Darrell K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX: 103,507 (of 100,119)
Total Time: 3 hours 37 minutes

Two SCents

Some games can’t be told by the stat line, but this one sure could. Negative 5 overall rush yards, allowing a 34-point scoring run, blocked field goal being returned for a TD, a freshman QB being forced to throw nearly 50 times in the game, 10 penalties for 99 yards, a drive stalling out at the Texas 3-yard line and averaging drives of 5.41 plays and 26 yards (including two drives with a net loss). Now that I’ve squeezed one sentence for all it’s worth, I’m wasting the second one, just like the Trojans wasted a game.

CommBro Breaker

I can’t give you all bad things, though it mostly was. The Trojans were playing decently until the bad review on the potential safety. Not only did they miss out on 2 points, but possession of the ball.

The series still sits at 5-2, dating back to 1955. That’s including the loss in the 2006 BCS national championship game that USC Sports Information office doesn’t admit.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week: USC did not score for over 45 minutes.

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: The -5 overall rush yards look bad, but when removing all lost yards from tackles for loss and sacks from the equation, it isn’t better at all. The Longhorns scored as many points as USC had in positive rush yards (37).

Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: The Trojans have not won in the state of Texas since September of 1996 when they beat Houston 26-9 in a non-conference game. That was six head coaches ago.

Texas 2018 (non-conference): 14-37
Ohio State 2017 (Cotton Bowl: 7-24
Alabama 2016 (Advocare Classic): 6-52
Georgia Tech 2012 (Sun Bowl): 7-21
TCU 1998 (Sun Bowl): 19-28