USC vs. Notre Dame: Championship Wishful Thinking Ended
Notre Dame vs. USC
October 21, 2017 at 4:43pm
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN: 77,622
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Do you remember the last time USC didn’t score in the first half? At Corvallis in 2010, where the Trojans lost 7-36 and starting QB Matt Barkley had to be taken out with an injury. Seven years later, the #11 Trojans played about as well as the unranked Temple or Boston College against the #13 Fighting Irish. If you combine this game with USC’s 2013 trip up to South Bend you might get a full game’s worth of scoring!
Any hope at an outside shot of a playoff berth has been ended. Now fans are forced to adjust their expectations and are uneasy about the rest of the season.
No matter how good a coach is, eventually they will lose—maybe even a team that they have no business losing to—but a prepared coach shouldn’t really get blown out often. Not at this level. Not with this kind of team.
The team gave up. Hell, it looks like they were never really into it to begin with. The team looked completely unprepared and unable to tackle. From what I’m seeing, I’m guessing they stopped tackling in practice. Sources confirmed that. Hasn’t Helton learned from the mistakes of his predecessor? He worked directly under Kiffin when he made that same unfortunate decision. Uncoincidentally, it’s starting to look like that 2012 season; a depleted roster edges out unconvincing wins through sheer talent, but ultimately squanders the season due to poor preparation and coaching decisions—only Kiffin didn’t get blown out that season.
BAD: Allowing 377 yards rushing. That’s higher than ND’s average. Allowing 8 yards a carry is also fairly disappointing
BAD: Producing unforced turnovers.
BAD: Defense unable to balance out the offense by getting takeaways of their own
BAD: The punt return game. They made a change, like I wanted them to do. It resulted in another unforced turnover. You’re telling me the entire roster doesn’t have anyone that can reliably field punts?
BAD: The missed field goal almost got overshadowed in my mind because of all the other things that went wrong. A 27-yarder should not be that difficult.
BAD: Could not establish a run game.
BAD: I could list more but who wants that?
GOOD: Fink showed some good runs.
GOOD: Deontay had a great game despite his quarterback struggling.
Yeah…that’s about all the good I can remember
As bad as that was, firing should not be on the table at this point. A third midseason firing, all within 5 years ,at a school that had previous not done it before, would be disastrous. Firing the guy at the end of the season might be hasty as well. He should get about three years. If he fails to make the necessary changes this offseason, then that’s the point when those considerations should start.
Depressing Stat of the Week: USC averages 2.71 turnovers a game. They have not had a game with less than two turnovers this season.They are tied for 127th in the FBS for total turnovers (19). The only team that has more turnovers that SC is San Jose State.
Running count of fourth down conversions: 4 of 12 (33%)
Running count of opponent fourth down conversions: 9 of 15 (60%)