USC vs. Arizona (Homecoming)
October 19, 2019 at 6:40pm
Los Angeles, CA: 53,826 (of 77,500)
Total Time: 3 hours 17 minutes
My post is later than usual, but not because my clock management is as bad as Helton’s.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a home game, so it’s been a while since we’ve seen a win. The Trojans barely climb back above a .500 record and will go back on the road on a short week. Colorado still has never beaten USC, dating back to their first match in 1927. Hopefully that continue that 13-0 streak and end their 0-4 road loss streak going back to nearly a year ago (November 3, 2018 against Oregon State).
Somehow Helton even manages to make a blowout look unappealing. It took several turnovers from Arizona to move USC’s offense. The red zone struggles showed up again, with several drives that ended without points or just field goals. Some of those drives started as turnovers just outside the red zone too.
Luckily, the defense managed to contain a mobile quarterback like Khalil Tate, which only happens every so often. They tallied up seven sacks. For comparison, they went into the game with 14 sacks in the past six games. Arizona only had one drive enter USC territory in the first half. Tate’s inability to get the offense going led to Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin benching him going into the second half. That quickly progressed into Kana’i Mauga’s interception off the of true freshman replacement, Grant Gunnell. Not bad for a secondary and defensive line stacked with injuries.
This game did no favors on the injury front, with all three running backs in the regular rotation now hurt. Former walk-on Quincy Jountti and true freshman Kenan Christon got playing time
GOOD: Kenan Christon with great speed, allowing him to sprint for 103 yards and two touchdowns off 8 carries. He led the team in rushing yards despite making a late entry.
GOOD: Michael Pittman fighting his way through defenders into the end zone for USC’s first touchdown of the night.
GOOD: The deep pass from Slovis to Pittman early in the second half.
GOOD: Kana’i Mauga made the most tackles (13) on the team for the night, including a sack, two tackles for loss, and an interception. He only had 8 tackles on the season going into the game and totaled 14 tackles all of 2018.
GOOD: A somewhat decently officiated game by the Pac-12.
BAD: USC still managed to rack up 10 penalties for 100 yards.
BAD: Seven of USC’s 14 meaningful drives went for less than 10 yards.
Currently, USC holds a shaky first place in the South due to holding the tiebreaker over Utah. Every South division team still has a shot to win it and the Trojans are only one bad week away from losing their top spot.
Ridiculous Stat of the Week: USC won the turnover battle for the first time since the 2018 home opener against UNLV. In their defense, they’ve tied several times. Just kidding, it’s still pathetic.
Uplifting Stat of the Week: Arizona averaged negative yardage on their punt returns
Misleading Quote of the Week: Remember when long snapper Damon Jonhson was recruited and Helton said that “hopefully…you won’t hear his name again”? Well, I’m glad we actually heard it again. Johnson exhibited a quick reaction time to recover the early fumble.