Many felt USC turned a corner with a victory over Stanford last week, apparently the team just took a few steps back following the overtime loss to BYU 30-27.
The Trojans started off their first drive very well as Kedon Slovis looked a lot like he did last week. The drive was finished with an eight yard Kedon Slovis touchdown pass to Micheal Pittman Jr. to give the Trojans the lead. The defense would force a punt, however the USC offense would hit a very rough patch. Slovis would throw two picks in back to back drives and BYU would capitalize scoring 10 points off the turnovers and to give them the lead.
The Cougars held the Trojans offense in check and quarterback Zach Wilson gave the USC defense fits with his scrambling ability. USC would turn the run game for success as BYU only had 3 down linemen. By halftime the game stood at 17 all. The third quarter saw an offensive struggle by both teams. USC defense had a key stop by stuffing BYU on a 4th and 2 in Trojans territory.
USC regained the lead early in the 4th when Slovis found Pittman Jr. again for a 30 yard score to put them up 24-17. BYU would answer with a field goal to cut the lead to four. Once the Cougars got the ball back, Zach Wilson displayed an amazing scramble drill and found Gunnar Romney for a 35 yard pass. The two plays later Wilson would scramble for a 16 yard touchdown run to put BYU up 27-24. USC managed to drive down the field and settle for a Chase McGrath field goal to tie the game at 27 and settle for overtime.
The USC defense held BYU to a field goal, however on 3rd down Slovis was picked off for the 3rd time as his pass was tipped and intercepted Dayan Ghanwoloku to end the game and seal the win for the Cougars. Slovis looked very much like a freshman in his first road game as a starter, throwing for 281 yards 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. BYU dropped 8 into coverage and really grounded Graham Harrell’s air raid offense.
There’s a lot that can go into the Trojans loss to BYU and none are really good at this point. The Trojans took an obvious step back in this game. Things don’t get any better for the Trojans as they now prepare for a marque Friday night matchup with No. 11 Utah. The question turns to how Clay Helton and the Trojans bounce back from today’s loss.