Monday, December 6, 2021

Kedon Slovis and Jackson Dart fail to lead USC in Arizona

They walked in and out, two USC quarterbacks aimlessly swapping places, clinging to some semblance of rhythm, hope, or whatever, something in between. Once it was Kedon Slovis. Next, Jackson Dart. The hope was to make the most of both. In fact, in an ugly argument between two exploding Pac-12 adversaries, the Trojans weren’t getting the upper hand.

Instead, they found themselves wandering aimlessly through desert nights, seemingly with no plan at all for the Saturday 31-16 defeat from Arizona. Even when the Sun Devils used every opportunity they could give the Trojans to win, USC found itself trading antlers and field goals in a high-stakes game: who blinks first.

Then, in the third and longest fourth quarter, Chris Steele blinked. The full-back was called in to defend, prolonging the Sun Devils’ late attempt. In the next game, Rachaad White went to the races, breaking through the USC front on his way to a 50-yard touchdown and forever burying the Trojans with his second score of the night. He finished with 202 yards and three touchdowns.

It was Slovis who came to power after the USC lost eight and in the most desperate situation. But hope had already faded, and the sideline was lifeless. Three in and out was the final blow.

USC stayed alive all night, albeit barely, thanks to three refusals and timely fines from the state of Arizona. But when the lifeless season came to an end, the Trojans (4-5, 3-4) seemed to be content that it was over.

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Even an All-America receiver might not have been able to save USC on Saturday night; However, no quarterback has been at his best in the absence of Drake London, whose late-season injury overshadowed a seemingly impossible USC attack.

USC’s unusual rotation did not help. After refusing to reveal his plan for quarterbacks all week, interim coach Donte Williams has largely followed the same rotation he used last week against Arizona, changing them every two trips, with a few exceptions.

Arizona runner Rashad White loses first half to USC players Calen Bullock and Chase Williams (7).

(Darryl Webb / Associated Press) #

It didn’t work on Saturday night. Both started fighting early, unable to find a rhythm, and neither had a chance to recover. Dart led the Trojan’s only touchdown after a failed attempt in Arizona and scored in a nine-yard run, but only after the Sun Devils extended the hit with two penalties. Slovis was the harsher of the two, but he couldn’t get the revs up to keep the engines moving. His 131 passing yards was the lowest in his career.

The USC was expected to rely on flight. But the fox, who entered the field in the first quarter, found more running opportunities than Keontai Ingram did in the beginning.

After two of the best performances of his career, Ingram was blocked by Arizona’s cutting edge content to fold a box to stop him. Apart from running 24 yards in the second quarter, Ingram had just 30 yards on 13 tries.

With no better passing game or a new workhorse on earth, USC struggled to put together an offense.

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