USC’s offense didn’t look like the unit we’d seen in wins over Stanford, Cal and even the late comeback over Texas in the Trojans’ loss to Washington State.
So what was the problem? Was it the Cougars’ defense? Was it the tough environment in at Martin Stadium?
For offensive coordinator Tee Martin, it was none of the above. It was USC’s own errors.
“It was us. It was us. It was…man, mental mistakes,” Martin said, per USCFootball.com’s Shotgun Spratling. “I mean just look at every position on the offense. We talked yesterday just about it never being about the other team.
“They did exactly what we thought they would do — lined up the same, played the same coverages, did the same thing we thought they were going to do and we just didn’t do a good job of doing our jobs all the time enough to win the game.”
USC’s offense on Friday night was a frustrating mix of what it can do when executing properly — a 12-play, 75-yard drive to tie the game in the fourth was an example of this, as was an earlier 10-play, 75-yard drive — and how the same unit can sputter when making mistakes. Two three-and-outs, a four-and-out and nine total penalties for 80 yards (as a team, both offense and defense) didn’t help the Trojans build a much-needed advantage in front of a raucous crowd thirsty for an upset.
“That’s how you get beat,” Martin said. “I always say the devil is in the details and it finally got us.”
The Trojans have since moved on to prepare for a matchup at home against Oregon State in a much-needed contest against a lesser team. Whether they’ll use it to fix those mistakes will be seen on Saturday in Los Angeles.
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