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“Helton made another questionable decision with just under 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Trojans had 4th down and 3 from Utah’s 40. The Trojan offense had been moving the ball quite well since the first 3 possesions of the game. The USC defense conversely had been shredded the previous two drives. Helton opted to punt instead of going for it.
The Utes were pinned back at their own 7 after the punt and faced a 3rd and ten but pass interference on biggie Marshall extended the drive and the Utes were on the move. Soft coverage from the USC defense once again allowed plenty of space underneath for Utah to move the ball easily while burning clock. The Trojans were able to force Utah into a 3rd and 15 outside of field goal range but the Utes were able to get it to 4th and short before converting and keeping the drive alive. The Trojans forced another 4th down and the Utes again converted. With under 30 seconds left in the game Utah was easily in field goal range and had 2 time outs. Utah took a shot at the end zone, Adoree’ Jackson was in coverage and slipped down on the slick field allowing for the easy touchdown catch giving the Utes the 31-27 lead with 16 seconds left.
Clay Helton’s decision to punt once again was a poor one and the Trojans lose their 3rd game of the season. Utah wins 31-27.”