The USC Trojans looked like a whole different team in their victory over No. 23 Stanford. The Trojans trailed 17-3 early in the 2nd quarter before finding their groove and rallying off a 42-3 on the Cardinal. What are some takeaways from USC’s win over Stanford Saturday night? We share three of them that stood out.
The true freshman impressed in any way that he could during his first college start. USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell mentioned that he would open the playbook for Slovis and has complete confidence in him. It proved to be a good decision as Slovis moved the USC offense down the field on the Cardinal. He was poised in the pocket, got the ball out of his hands quickly, in some instances threw his receivers open, and made his teammates better. His first touchdown pass was a nice 39 yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown. From there it was all go. Slovis went 28-33 with 377 yards, which broke a school record for the most passing yards by a USC freshman, and 3 touchdowns. If fans were wondering why he won the backup job, then Saturday night’s performance should be an indication on why.
Air Raid Offense Was the Jolt USC needed
Following last week’s win over Fresno State, people started to wonder about the air raid scheme, despite the Trojans moving the ball that night. Against Stanford it was a whole different tune as the USC managed to move the ball and finish off drives in the end zone. The wide receiving group was very effective, the run game opened up with the four wide sets, the offensive line managed to give Kedon Slovis ample of time in the pocket. Wide receiver Tyler Vaughns battled his early drop issues and turned out another 100 yard receiving yard game. Graham Harrell aimed to simplify the Trojans offense and maximize the usage of their skill players. That was on full display against the Cardinal.
When USC trailed 17-3, a mass majority had the thought of “2018 All over again”. However, that wasn’t the case as the Trojans railed off a 42-3 run against Stanford. Last season was more of a “when it rains, it pours” situation as the team failed to battle back into games. Saturday night was a different tune once the offense started scoring and the defense slowed down Stanford’s offense, holding them to two field goals after giving up two touchdowns. USC players discussed how they worked to change the narrative about them during the offseason. They were successful in doing that this week by weathering the storm.