"The Trojans were only 4-11 (36%) on third down and it came mainly from the first half. As USC struggled to move the ball against a physical Cardinal defense, Kessler and his unit couldn't get anything going as he only threw for one yard going into the second quarter. Stanford's starting corners Alijah Holder and Ronnie Harris returned, which allowed them to key in on Justin Davis and the run game. Aziz Shittu and Blake Martinez were busy in the backfield and plugging up gaps consistently, as they allowed only 19 yards on the ground halfway into the second quarter. Kessler continued to feel the pressure on third down, throwing the ball to a covered receiver or getting rid of it as soon as he was touched. Kessler did manage to make things happen with his feet at times but it wasn't enough to keep a Stanford defense off guard. USC's mixture of poor play calling and lack of execution ultimately silenced the offense and led to punting the ball away.
Adoree continues to be silent on offense
USC ran into a lot of problems on offense and limiting Adoree is a main reason why. Adoree Jackson is a true playmaker, but his ability has been highlighted only on special teams and defense. Jackson was given only one touch on offense, which resulted in a big gain that came in the fourth quarter. Given that Adoree is a full-time cornerback for the Trojans defense, he is still capable of being an offensive weapon that would allow USC to become more creative within the playbook. When Adoree has scored or given multiple touches USC has soared as we've seen against Cal, UCLA, and Arizona State. Kessler only averaged 5.9 yards a pass tonight with eleven of his receptions going to Smith-Schuster for 87 yards. If Helton's offense could've utilized Adoree Jackson more we possibly could've seen a better outcome performance-wise."
Conquest Chronicles Podcast Episode 10: Clay Helton's critical changes and Pac-12 Championship game analysis
A tough loss in the Pac-12 Championship game, Helton's critical coaching staff changes, and more in episode 10.
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