The Pac-12 after dark games are infamous for three things: late-night endings, a lot of points and a lot of penalties.
The latter of the three was yet again the story line of the second half of the USC Trojans’ 24-20 victory over the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson and Trojan senior cornerback Iman Marshall did not shy away from letting his input on the Pac-12 officiating last night be known, especially after the former Long Beach Poly standout had his first interception of the season negated by a pass interference call.
“I feel like that was BS to be honest with you,” Marshall said after the game, per Reign of Troy. “But at the end of the day, the refs, we are in the Pac-12 and the (conference’s) refs are terrible.”
Iman Marshall on the PI call: BS.— Reign of Troy (@ReignofTroy) September 30, 2018
On Pac-12 refs: Terrible. pic.twitter.com/eMEL4nPVhf
While Marshall might have already had a short fuse, it did feel like the Trojans had a bulls-eye on their back whenever a flag was thrown.
In fact, USC had 18 penalties last night, which are the single most for an FBS team since Week 3 of 2016, according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura.
USC's 18 penalties against Arizona are the most for an FBS team in a single game since Week 3 of 2016 when Arkansas State also committed 18 vs. Utah State.— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) September 30, 2018
In the last 15 years, only 7 teams have committed more in a single game. https://t.co/Q6SEBIz1TW
The fact that USC had more penalties than completions is extremely concerning for Trojans fans.
While the final score was closer than expected, considering USC led by 17 points at halftime, it’s safe to say that the Wildcats received multiple favors from the officials. Marshall’s interception would have iced the game for the Trojans and kept Arizona out of the end zone.
Fortunately for USC, it gets a week to go back to the film room and clean up some of the mistakes from last night before it takes on Colorado on October 13.