What happened and what mattered in the Week 4 of the Pac-12 college football season?
4. USC 39, Washington State 36
And just like that, Clay Helton is off the hot seat.
Yeah, USC is young in key spots, and yeah, there’s some rebuilding to be done, but there are no excuses with this program. The great teams lose NFL players and replace them with more NFL players.
But it’s been a rocky run so far, and worst of all, the Trojans have been boring.
That quickly changed.
JT Daniels was dealing, showing off the talent, passing skills, and upside that made Trojan fans so giddy when he signed on early. He hit 17-of-26 passes for 241 yards and three scores with no picks.
But he was great because he had to be.
The USC running game marched 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive, and finished with 113 yards of rushing offense. Combine that with the struggles on defense throughout the game, and considering this was a gut-check game for the program, it took too much to pull it off.
Gardner Minshew kept the pressure on with 344 passing yards and three scores for Wazzu, and James Williams ran well enough to be keyed on, but a bad decision to go for two late almost cost the Cougars a win – he special teams ended up breaking down on the game-tying field goal attempt – the 11 penalties were way too many, and there was a whiff of a quirky alignment attempt late.
But the offense controlled the clock and the game, Minshew was terrific, and the Cougars were this close to pulling out a great road win to go 4-0.
But Daniels was too good. Now he needs more help.