Here are the grades for another inconsistent performance against Colorado. Make sure to read all the way through to see my comments on coaching.
Any Sam Darnold critics out there? He’s been playing like he did last season and has 15 TDs and only three interceptions in the past six games. His NFL stock must be zooming.
Ronald Jones gained 142 yards but it was a more workmanlike performance. Maybe that is what makes it impressive because he’s been reliable nearly every week. Why did Aca’Cedric Ware mysteriously get 14 carries last week and only 2 vs. Colorado? It couldn’t have been that there were rumors he would transfer two weeks ago.
So are Michael Pittman and Tyler Vaughns playing better because they have developed or simply because they are playing more? Why has tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe become so irrelevant to the offense? Is he still hurt?
It would be interesting to see how many missed assignments USC’s coaches find when it watches the film. There are plenty to notice just casually watching the game on TV. But it’s been that way all season. Like so many things, it doesn’t matter against the likes of Colorado.
Uchenna Nwosu broke up two passes and Christian Rector had a sack in his first game back since breaking his hand. Rasheem Green also had a sack and seemed to be in on more plays despite registering only one tackle.
John Houston had a team-high 11 tackles while Cameron Smith added 4. Things go better against bad teams.
The good: Ajene Harris had two interceptions and a pick six. The bad: Jack Jones looked completely lost on some plays and got another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Maybe Clay Helton should actually discipline Jones for once to get him keep his emotions under control. Then again, what is secondary coach Ronnie Bradford doing in this regard? Colorado QB Steven Montez had a shaky game and still passed for 376 yards.
Two blocked field goals although the Colorado kicker kicked both low and said one went off his ankle. On the other hand, USC had a punt blocked, missed an extra point and field goal. Punt returns looks so muddled as Tyler Vaughns suddenly joined the returning corps. Did you see the timeout to get an 11th man on the field for a punt?
USC did not come out with any real emotion or fire in the first half but still led because Colorado is a bad team. When the Buffs played a little better in the second half, all of a sudden it got closer.
What was the answer? A trick pass play that didn’t work where they were going to throw a TD pass to Sam Darnold. There was another failed fourth-down conversion and an aversion to going under center on short-yardage situations.
There was the Colorado tight end completely uncovered in the end zone, another thing that happens regularly. And the blown coverages that included a 79-yard TD pass. But Clancy Pendergast is doing a great job.
What would happen if USC had to play Alabama, Georgia and Auburn in conference games? Some of you will suddenly say Georgia is terrible because they lost a road game at Auburn. That’s way worse than losing at Washington State, right?
Where is USC’s discipline? Players are taking pictures in the fourth quarter? Colorado still had a chance to come back. Amazing.