After Friday night’s loss to No. 16 Washington State, some are trying to figure out what happened to the Trojans. Some Trojan fans seem to be in a state of worry with the team based off the performance.
The takes were pretty interesting after Friday night’s game. Let’s start with the obvious here. Injuries with no bye week doesn’t help USC at all, also the coaching staff will have to figure out what’s going on with the offense and their play calling.
Through three games, the offense has struggled and it seems as if they’re putting more weight on Darnold to do things away from his strengths. With all of that being said USC fans, allow for me to provide some positiveity here, the loss isn’t the end of the world for the Trojans.
Losing will only fuel this team
You always know about a team based on how they respond to a loss the following week. This team knows that this was a game that got away from them and you can believe that they’ll play with a chip on their shoulder. They’ll remember the pain and hurt from Friday night and apply it their next games.
College Football Playoffs hopes are still alive
While a loss will hurt their chances to play in the College Football Playoffs, however it doesn’t eliminate them. While a lot has to happen for the Trojans to be one of the four teams playing on New Years Day, It’s still early in the season and teams while have to play each other in conference. All USC has to do is win out to keep themselves alive in the playoff hunt. Keep in mind they still have to face two teams in the AP Top 25. If USC were to win out then they could have a very strong case to be one of the four teams in. Three Point loss, on the road, to a ranked opponent, and had numerous amount of injuries.
Pac-12 Championship hopes are still alive
While the College Football Playoffs hopes are damaged, the Pac-12 title aspirations are well within reach. All the Trojans have to do is win the south to make their way to Levi’s Stadium for the Pac-12 Championship. Best thing about it is that they could very well see Washington State again. USC will have to do their job in conference, which means beating Utah, Colorado, and UCLA.
History on the Trojans side?
I’m not huge on history or anything, however here’s an interesting note here. The last time USC lost to Washington State in Pullman, the Trojans led by quarterback Carson Palmer went on to win 11 straight games on their to a BCS Bowl appearance. That was back in 2002 and USC lost that game 30-27 and Washington State was ranked No. 17 at the time. USC lost to No. 16 Washington State 30-27 and have 7 games left. Perspective folks. Also this was USC’s first loss in a full calendar year, their last loss was at Utah on a Friday night, which was Sam Darnold’s first start. The Trojans went on to win 9 straight which included a Rose Bowl victory.
USC found their third receiver
The last two games Tyler Vaughns has stood out to be a very reliable target for Sam Darnold. Vaughns came up big in some key moments for USC when they needed them the most. Many teams will key on Deontay Burnett, however now it appears the Trojans will have another receiver which could help make Darnold’s job a bit easier. Once Steven Mitchell Jr returns from injury, the Trojans passing game should open up a little bit more.
You can criticize the offensive play calling all you want, because there was some questionable things that was done, you can also point and say that losing three starters on the offensive line played a huge part. This was a game that USC let get away from them, however the season is far from over. When Sunday afternoon come we’ll see USC take a steep drop in the polls. There’s plenty of football to be played here and as we’ve seen in College Football, anything can happen.