Skip to content

USC survives scare from Utah State

Utah State v USC Getty Images

There was a time when a 17-14 win by USC over Utah State would’ve been greeted with cries of panic by those who follow Trojan football.

But expectations have fallen so much at USC, any win these days over any level of opponent is seen as something to be taken without reservation.

And so, Lane Kiffin survived another week — barely — as his Trojans squeaked out a 3-point win over out-manned Utah State in the Coliseum.

If not for the resiliency of the USC defense, Kiffin might already be on the outskirts of town, run out ignominiously on a rail. The new 5-2 scheme under defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast suffocated Utah State’s brilliant quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, holding him to just 179 yards passing and negative 15 yards rushing. Meanwhile, the USC offense continued to look like something out of the stone age.

The Trojans put up 282 yards of offense, went 3 of 13 on third down conversions and were held to just 3 yards per carry. USC managed just 17 total points despite spending most of the game inside Utah State territory. But mistakes, dropped balls, penalties, poor play calling and a scrappy Aggies defense handicapped the Trojan attack all day.

Utah State had a chance to win this one. Beating the Trojans would’ve been a landmark win for the program, but Keeton couldn’t get it done and the usually-slippery quarterback seemed out of sorts most of the day. The Aggies now stand at 2-2 after dropping its second close game to a Pac-12 opponent.

For USC, things do not get any easier. The Trojans travel to Arizona State next week and, based on how they’ve looked in the first four games, things could get ugly in the desert.

But USC is not Florida. Despite this narrow win, it’s still a novice at winning ugly. Unless the Trojans get better quick, playing ugly will just mean losing ugly.

Permalink 9 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Top Posts, USC Trojans
9 Responses to “USC survives scare from Utah State”
  1. Anoesis says: Sep 21, 2013 7:35 PM

    I didn’t find Utah State particularly scary, even though they’re a good team, because the USC defense came through once again. That USC offense, however, is downright frighteningly incompetent.

    Kiffin replaced the DC after last year, now he needs to replace the OC: himself. How much longer before Pat Haden gives up on the HC he inherited and finds someone who can actually do the job?

  2. thegonz13 says: Sep 21, 2013 8:14 PM

    Say what you will about Utah State but the Aggies gave USC’s storied program a run for their money.

    Can’t wait to see what Mr. Trojan Man, Lane Kiffin, does when he runs into Top 10 opposition.

  3. realfootballfan says: Sep 21, 2013 9:04 PM

    The last Lane Kiffin holdouts are still saying it’s the scholarship restrictions. Yea, keep telling yourself that when your team struggles against Utah freaking State and loses to Washington State, lol. You’ll find yourself back in those Paul Hackett days pretty soon.

    Unfortunately for most Trojan fans, Pat Haiden seems to be one of the last holdouts. You might have to have a booster-motivated talk with him, or just outright have to wack him, too.

  4. pdcooper08 says: Sep 21, 2013 10:05 PM

    It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take the win. Sure it’s easy to jump on the hate kiffin bandwagon now, and that’s cool. Just so typical of SoCal fan though. I mean what do you people want. You want Haden to fire the HC/DC in the middle of the year? Really, so screw everything else so you whiners can have it your way right now.

    This is really easy here people. The guy finishes the year regardless. If he loses, he’s gone. If he wins, he lives for another day. Firing him right now does nothing but screw the players, coaches and the University. Everyone is trying very hardest to make this thing right. It’s a struggle, there not very good right now on offense, but can you shut your pie holes and let it be. If you got anything to say, how about we just supportive to the players and let the year finish out. It does no good to just keep telling everyone you hate the coach.

    Let’s not forget, prior to becoming AD, Haden sat on the board that interviewed Kiffin and recommended him for hire. That says a lot about how he feels about the guy.

  5. thekatman says: Sep 21, 2013 10:09 PM

    Hey all. Boosters have had their say with Haden and nothing will be donet o upsett he Kiffin coaching job this season. Max nikias, the university president has an agendato make USC a top 5 university in the country and to do that they have to raise the APR score for the athletic dept. Kiffin is doing a fantastic job with the non football issues the athletic dept is facing.

    He’s a great recruiter, but not that great of a teacher. He runs the offense like a pro offense, but the players aren’t nFL guys. They’re kids and they need leadership from the HC. Pendergast and Orgeron are doing great work on the defense, becaue they runit, not Kiffin. Once KIffin gives uo the OC role and works full time as a HC, you’ ll see the offense start to gel. Until that time comes, the defense is our tema’s bright and shining light, whereas the offense is like a stuttering teenager. Eventually, the offense will grow up……

    Unfortunately, Pat haden is ultimately responsible for the outcome of his athletic dept, and the football program’s success is not that important to him. Right now the team is playing good enough.

    Haden is more interested in Title 9 issues, increasing the APRand contributing to the $9B fund raising csmpaign for the university. Trojan football has taken a back seat right now, and that doesn’t sit right with me…… We see it happening right in front of our eyes.

  6. timh1955 says: Sep 21, 2013 11:18 PM

    USC deserves Kiffin! I wonder who will be the next team that’s stupid enough to take him.

  7. ningenito78 says: Sep 22, 2013 1:45 AM

    Wow. Any USC fan that doesn’t think cutting the cord on Kiffin RIGHT NOW is a moron. So what you want him to coach the year and keep trying to bring in recruits only for him to be fired in January? In sure the guy that takes his place will love the idea of having 5 weeks to convince the kids Kiffin recruited that USC is still the right place for them. Sometimes for the sake of the future you
    have to destroy the present. Anybody that thinks Kiffin should stay is either a moron or Lane Kiffin’s relative.

  8. pdcooper08 says: Sep 22, 2013 5:28 AM

    Yep ningenito78, i’m a moron for sure. I just can’t see how blowing up the team right now will help in anyway. So the recruits will come if that happens? Blow it up and turn your back on the players you have now? Now really sends a special message to the ones you have.

    If I was a recruit, I’d never even give SC a chance, regardless to who is brought in.

    TheTrojans won today, be happy for that, and for all we know, they just might beat that crappy team Stanford rolled today next week.

    Whether any of us like it, Kiffin is staying put for the rest of the season. So with that, how about we all be good little fans and support the ones that deserve cheer, and set all the negative BS down until the years over.

  9. 700levelvet says: Sep 22, 2013 12:47 PM

    I’m still amazed USC hired this clown….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!