Final Thoughts & What It All Means: Washington State 30, USC 27
Washington State makes a massive national statement by taking down the No. 5 USC Trojans. Okay, now what?
Washington State 30, USC 27
Prediction: USC 38, Washington State 34
Line: USC-3.5 o/u: 65
First of all, before giving Washington State all the credit for pulling this off …
With the way Sam Darnold was playing, it was hardly a given that anything was going to come of that drive, but on the “fumble” that allowed Washington State to seal the win, his arm was moving forward, and it at least should’ve been reviewed. NO, USC didn’t lose because of that, but it was a screwy misfire by a group of officials that had an off night.
You want your big difference? Washington State hit 8-of-18 third down chances and ran 81 plays on the night. USC hit 2-of-11 tries and ran just 58 plays. The Trojans wore down – more on that in a moment.
So that’s it for USC and the College Football Playoff, right? Not quite. With Oregon State and Utah up next at home, the Trojans will likely be 4-1 in Pac-12 play before going to Notre Dame for what could be the real problem. Win that, and with at Arizona State, Arizona, at Colorado, and UCLA left, who’s going to beat the Trojans if it’s not Notre Dame?
And Washington State? This was fun, but this was also the last of a five-game home stand to start the season. Up next, at Oregon, at Cal, Colorado, at Arizona, Stanford, at Utah, at Washington. That’s five road games in the final seven. Get through the stretch with one loss – as long as it’s not to the Washington/Stanford winner – and with a little luck, Wazzu, your reward is a rematch against USC.
Erik Powell? 3-for-3 on field goals including a 44-yarder and a game-winner? College kickers who can come through in the clutch like that are worth their weight in love.
Luke Falk got beaten up, battered and bruised, just like he always does. But he also completed 34-of-51 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns with a pick. His performance was more than just fighting through the adversity and the hits. USC P Reid Budrovich kept the Cougars pinned deep all game long, and Falk kept getting his offense out of the jam.
Yes, that’s it for the Sam Darnold Heisman run. 15-of-29 for 164 yards and one pick, to go along with 25 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Wazzu dialed up the pressure, but the presumptive New York Jet looked and played way too lost at times.
Yes, he only threw that one interception, but he got away with a few other misfires that should’ve been picked off. There was a bad intentional grounding play, and there was the turnover at the end when he didn’t read the blitz. It wasn’t a good night for him – or the Jets.
Washington State was simply more physical when it had to be. It came up with a few key stops on the goal line, and other than the 86-yard touchdown run it gave up to Ronald Jones, it allowed just 77 rushing yards. On the other side, when Jamal Morrow or James Williams really needed a big run, it was able to get it.
Again, not taking anything away from a Washington State team that earned this win, but USC seemed tired. It played in that 100-degree heat against Western Michigan, it had to get up for Stanford, it had the dogfight with Texas, and then it had to actually try against Cal on the road. This isn’t as deep a team as many think – it wore down.