Let’s take a look at where it all went wrong.
He had the chance to do something remarkable; Instead, Clay Helton trained his team like he did every two weeks, i.e. at a mediocre level. The Trojans looked as poor as almost every two weeks except for the second half against Utah and the first half against Washington State. The team looked mentally unfit. Trojans have always had their way. They committed penalty after penalty regardless of the fact that the players were injuring their teammates in the process. When that team’s head coach had the chance to prepare his roster for a conference title and a New Year’s Six Bowl, he instead oversaw one of the poorest outings of the season. It’s a shame that USC probably isn’t learning from this game or this season, instead using the fact that it hasn’t lived up to it – just one score – to justify the continued ignorance of the glaring mistakes. .
The USC quarterback played well in the fourth quarter of this season, but overall he hasn’t played particularly well this year. The reason USC has had to come back from behind so often is that Slovis constantly puts Trojans in bad shape. Slovis’s mistakes on Friday night led to Oregon’s 14 points and the final turnover of the Pac-12 Championship game. He looked shaking all night and the mechanics were gone. After making several mistakes, he played scared the rest of the game. It was not the right game for Slovis to play so poorly. He eventually threw an interception in the fourth quarter, something he hadn’t done in previous games (but was close to doing it). His luck, like Clay Helton’s, ran out.
This team does not understand basic clock management or delay management. That the Trojans had to burn on a timeout on the 4th and 20th is ludicrous. At this point, the team should have just taken the penalty instead of wasting the precious merchandise. It’s hard to understand what Clay Helton sometimes thinks or how USC becomes so mentally fragile in situations where basic consciousness could be the difference between a touchdown and a failure.