USC had what many are calling a “statement” win over the Stanford Cardinal last Saturday. Before we turn our attention to the Texas Longhorns, let’s look back at the Trojans 42-24 victory over Stanford.
The Run Game Is For Real
Yes it only been two games, but Stanford is known to be a physical team and is hard to run on. USC’s ground game gashed the Cardinal up and down the field and there was nothing Stanford could really do to stop them. The Trojans used almost every running back on their roster and still managed to get 3-7 yards every play. Junior running back Ronald Jones II and freshman Stephen Carr had huge games, rushing for over 100 yards. If Saturday showed us anything, its that USC’s ground game is a force.
Sam Darnold and USC Offense clicking
It wasn’t just the ground game that was effective Saturday night, the offense as a whole was outstanding. Sam Darnold had an incredible game passing for over 300 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Deontay Burnett basically picked up where he left off against an outstanding Stanford secondary, going for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Steven Mitchell Jr. also had a stellar game with 94 yards and two touchdowns. The rest of the receiving corps also stepped up after a questionable performance against Western Michigan. Jalen Greene and Velus Jones managed to make a few key catches to help Darnold and the passing game. USC’s offense managed to have a successful balanced game against the Cardinal.
Nwosu Is A Problem For Opposing Offenses
Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu was all over the place and that created issues for Stanford. Nwosu batted passes down, snuffed out runs, and pressured Chryst. He was a huge asset to the Trojans defense and the reason why they had some success against Stanford.
Penalties, Penalties, Penalties
To every upside, there’s a downside and in the Trojans case it was the penalties. USC accounted for 8 penalties for 90 yards during Saturday’s game with Stanford. While the penalties did not stall their drives or hurt them against Stanford, they need to get the penalty situation cleaned up. If this keeps up it could cost the Trojans.
Week 1 Was Pure Overreaction
USC cleaned up their tackling issues, dropped ball problems, and run game issues all in one week. If anything the win over a very good Stanford team showed that many overreacted after USC’s win over Western Michigan in which they struggled. The Trojans did all the right things and more to make a statement in Saturday’s game.
Now we see if USC can do it again against a Tom Herman coached Texas team in a game that will have a lot of people’s attention.