Last night, as I watched the USC-Stanford game, I thought to myself, “Will we ever see the USC of old?” You know the USC that didn’t lose to teams they shouldn’t and demolished teams by 50 points. USC tricked me again this year. After four years of waiting for USC to return to power, I finally thought this was the season. The team had a high-powered offense lead by QB Matt Barkley and WR’s Marqis Lee and Robert Woods. The defense had its questions, but who could doubt the talent they had on that side of the ball. Well, last night USC fooled me again.
They cherry picked Silas Redd from Penn State to help out with the questions in the run game and STILL THEY LOST TO STANFORD.
USC was the flashy preseason favorite. They had the drive and hunger to come out and perform after two seasons of being on probation. Last night Stanford did what they had to do. They ran the ball well and kept it close just long enough for their defense to start getting pressure on Barkley and completely disrupt the timing of the Trojan’s high powered passing attack. The Stanford linebackers shut down the USC running game and in the 4th quarter it was time for the Cardinal to UNLOAD on Barkley.
I don’t believe a person can lose the Heisman with a close loss like that one, but Barkley might have done just that. Stanford exposed Barkley’s lack of mobility and you could tell USC wasn’t going to tie that game up based on Barkley’s body language. It was a complete letdown on behalf of the Trojan’s. Marqis Lee saved the game for the Trojans by making that acrobatic sideline catch, but STILL NO ONE COULD THINK USC HAD THE STONES TO ACTUALLY TIE IT UP. The offensive line will get much of the blame, but don’t think I forgot about you Lane Kiffin. Yes, I know it’s hard to call plays when your QB doesn’t have time to throw.
Seriously though, did you truly think calling WR screens and crossing routes in the middle of the field for 5 yards was really going to work? Yes, Woods and Lee are studs, but they can’t be expected to take it to the house every time. USC looked average last night. In the last 6 season, USC has lost to Stanford 5 times including 4 in a row. Remember when USC wouldn’t lose to anyone? USC has officially lost its swagger. Sure they can salvage the season, but it won’t be with the same hype as they had entering the 2012 season. The problems they showed on offense and defense has given a blueprint for other Pac-12 teams to follow. Lane Kiffin needs to sit down and reevaluate his plan of attack for future seasons because USC looked soft and mentally weak last night. USC used to be the bad boy on the street. They guy that could get into fights and look like they were going to lose, but everyone knew that they just needed to step it up and knock the guy out. Now they’re just the guy who thinks he is tough and tries to convince everyone in the neighborhood that they still are, but no one is listening.