Sunday, December 5, 2021

USC leaves with additional questions after defeat to Arizona

Another week, another bleak performance for the USC, which came to the desert looking for answers and left with new questions. With little time left for the USC to earn the cup bid, a reckless quarterback rotation may only be the least of his concerns since the 31-16 defeat to Arizona.

Here’s what we learned from the USC trip to Tempe:

Life without London

No one harbored the illusion that the USC could simply replace Drake London, one of the country’s leading successors, with one man and stop it. But the collective effort made in the wake of Saturday’s passing attack has raised questions about whether the USC could score at all without pushing him forward.

A huge dose of outreach to the people of Arizona has allowed a fleet of unverified USC receivers to play a role. But they never materialized. Taj Washington led the team with a career record nine traps, but most of his damage was on short screens or intermediate routes. Gary Bryant Jr. was in the lead on targets (15), but turned only six of them into traps.

The rest of the USC staff worked in a random rotation, which included, among others, Kyle Ford, Joseph Manjack, and Michael Jackson III. But no one has been able to make much of an impact, whether because of the coverage they encountered or the inability of USC defenders to find them on the field.

Bryant said Arizona State came up with different protections than they expected from the movie. Kedon Slovis was more outspoken about the first USC game without his main goal.

“We were exposed,” the junior defense attorney said.

In bottles

The emphasis on running seemed like an obvious choice for reloading an attack that now needs a new focus. It turns out that this is exactly what the state of Arizona expected from USC.

The solar devils set out to stop the flight and achieved immense success. The Trojans, which have finally restored their running game in recent weeks, did not.

Keontay Ingram has raced 342 yards in the previous two weeks, taking over as USC’s workhorse when he needed it most. But there was little he could do on Saturday: the Arizona State front fell on him, and the USC assault was unable to withstand transmissions from the field.

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Ingram interrupted one 24-yard run in the second quarter and a 15-yard run in the third. His dozen other carries were only 15 yards away. He did not play at all in the fourth quarter as he had an injury that USC interim coach Donte Williams called “everyday”.

“It really hurt us,” Williams said of Ingram’s hard night. “We depend on him. He’s a big player and it’s a big game. “

In the first half of Saturday in Tempe, Arizona, USC defender Keaontay Ingram was knocked down by Arizona linebacker DJ Davison (98) and Michael Matus (91).

(Darryl Webb / Associated Press) #

Problem solving

When Arizona State player Rashad White caught a pass out of bounds in the second quarter, he was quickly greeted by USC defenders, none of whom seemed interested in his attack.

Instead, White broke through to a 26-yard win, shaking off some of the Trojan invaders while carrying a few others with him. After one game, White broke through the hole and charged the remaining 47 yards for a touchdown.

For the USC’s defense, which has been fighting for most of the season, this was just the last reminder of its inability to pinpoint the problem and fix it. Williams said this was the most embarrassing aspect of many of the USC’s defensive problems.

“I think we have some really good players and they can play this kind of game,” Williams said. “At the same time, they didn’t.”

Alford shines

One defender did play when needed. Last summer, Havion Alford moved from Texas to USC looking for opportunities, and in his last three games, he finally had that chance.

He took advantage of this Saturday night by stealing two interceptions. But USC has failed to turn any opportunity into points.

Aside from rookie Calen Bullock, who was a bright spot in the dark, the security situation was a particularly problematic issue for the USC’s defenses. The elder Isaiah Paula-Mao fought hard, while Chase Williams, his colleague, was not much better. If Alford can build on his breakthrough results, he can play a good role in the last three weeks of the season.

Nation World News Desk
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