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Home / Sports / USC Vs. Utah Score, Take-Away: Trojans drive QB on the third string for the key victory over 10 Utes

USC Vs. Utah Score, Take-Away: Trojans drive QB on the third string for the key victory over 10 Utes



What would be Week 4 without a little # Pac12AfterDark on a Friday to get things started before the action on Saturday? No. 10 Utah and USC clashed in a conference battle with important implications for Pac-12 South. It was not the most beautiful game, but the Trojans got excited in the shape of a 30-23 win.

The big story tonight was the injury of Trojan quarterback Kedon Slovis. The newcomer brutally hit the USC's first possession and was taken to the locker room. He did not return to the game, and coach Clay Helton later said only that Slovis got " dinged ". He was replaced by Matt Fink, who had a big game from the bank.

So, what did we learn from the riot of Friday night in Los Angeles? Here are four takeaways of Trojans and Utes.

Matt Fink was uneven but effective when it mattered

One story of this game is that Fink came off the bench and led USC to victory, indicating the kind of exploits that backups can only achieve anywhere. That is … somehow true? It is valid to say that Fink played well in the circumstances. He passed 21 of 30 for 351 yards and three touchdowns – all bombs. That's good for every quarterback in every game.

Two of these touchdown passes you can see above were jump balls that were pulled down by the superior USC receivers. Fink played a game of ".500" and his guys came down with his skirt. Conversely, Utah's defenders were routinely burned. The corners were often struck and the security game threw all sorts of throws wrong. The defensive field sometimes gets an unfair amount of criticism regarding the pass defense but not tonight. The Utes were exaggerated and hit at a crowd of 50/50 balls.

There is also the issue of general offensive variance of the USC. After the first two owners of USC, the offensive of the Trojans was punished twice and fumbled the ball at the end of the first half. After the touchdown of Michael Pittman in the third quarter, Fink threw a brutal interception on the run, and the offense struck twice more. Only when USC brought after a security injury the ball on a short field, he could score again. This is not a big blow for Fink on his sudden entry into the game, but keep in mind that 36 percent of USC yards came up with these three long touchdown passes. For the other 51 games, the USC average was 4.8 yards per game.

The victory does not exclude coach Clay Helton yet.

Honestly, this game made no sense. The USC rushed 13 meters in 22 attempts. Most of them accepted the defeats at the end of the game and, ironically enough, embarked on the last voyage when the Trojans had to end the game. Otherwise, the USC floated most of the night in a negative meter on the ground. In addition, USC imposed 11 penalties for 117 yards and gave up a 30-yard first-down run on Utes in the second quarter, driving Devin Brumfield back with a second-and-25. The Trojans also reversed the ball twice.

Although these numbers sound insane, Trojan fans will tell you that this is just another week under Helton. It could be argued that USC's trademark under Helton has been undisciplined football lately. While people are (rightly) firing their shots at the officials of the Pac-12, not every call was bad. USC had a lot of tidying up for a while. The 1: 3 against a decent schedule is good for Helton's job security, especially given the quarterback attrition, but it's not like it's the cleanest football ever.

Utah has found almost every way to lose this game.

If you thought USC was undisciplined, wait until you get a load of Utes. Where do you start? Probably with the 16 penalties for 120 meters. Again, not every call was justified, but there were many. It is not the referee's fault if Utah made a false start or took a jersey. Utah also left points on the field, starting with a missed field goal in the first half, which was technically blocked twice as USC was designated for offside in its first block.

Utah was particularly bad in and out of the red zone. The Utes were stopped on downs at the USC's 29-yard line and forced to compete with field goals at the 20-yard line (twice) and the 7-yard line (when they were at the 1-yard line) to be satisfied. They fumbled just before the half at the 2-yard line.

None of this, of course, mentions Utah winning against USC and holding the ball for more than 38 minutes. Or that the defense was badly debunked. But if you shoot yourself in the foot and do not finish the rides, you lose the conference games on the street.

The loss of Zack Moss is a long-term concern.

One thing Utah could not control was the violation of Moss, one of his main assault weapons. The return ended the game with an obvious shoulder injury and did not return. As serious as Slovis's injury to USC was, so much the worse was Moss's injury to the game's impact. Utah as a whole found a way to adjust in the running game by racing 247 yards and 5 yards per clip. Not bad, but quarterback Tyler Huntley had sixty of these yards at 18 attempts, many of which were puzzles. Utah had a hard time getting tough meters, which hurt her in the red zone (see above). Utah's offensive as a whole had a hard time getting the USC's fast and physical defensive front under control, and Moss was not there to take the hard-earned yards after the contact became a killer. If he stays away for a long time, that's a big blow for Utah's offense.

Thank you for your visit.


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