How bad has it gotten for the USC offense?
Well, the Trojans’ Biletnikoff Award winner and future first-round NFL draft pick Marqise Lee had four catches for just 14 yards in the first half against a Washington State secondary that was missing two cornerbacks from its rotation.
USC produced 73 total yards in the first half against the Cougars, tallied five first downs, went 0-for-5 on third-down conversions, averaged 3.2 yards per pass attempt and just 2 yards per rush.
To make matters worse, Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler threw an interception that was returned by Damante Horton for 70 yards to tie the game at 7-7 just before the half. Kessler, a sophomore making his second start, was 8 of 13 for just 41 yards heading into the locker room.
If not for another inspired effort by the USC defense, the Trojans would be looking at an insurmountable deficit heading into the second half (at least by the USC offense’s standards).
Tonight’s performance comes on top of a tepid debut by the offense last week against Hawaii. Through six quarters in 2013, USC’s offense is averaging just 3.7 yards per play and has scored a paltry three offensive touchdowns. And, mind you, this has been against what most regarded as the soft portion of the schedule.
Naturally, USC fans responded with a smattering of boos at the playcalling and as the team left the field.
If this performance carries over to the second half, Lane Kiffin might be run out of the Coliseum on a rail.