USC runs out of fourth-quarter magic in Pac-12 championship loss to Oregon

LOS ANGELES– USC had prevailed via even more unfavorable circumstances than this in this strange 2020 period. But this time around, there simply wasn’t sufficient magic left in the storage tank.

Trailing by 14 factors in the fourth quarter, USC resisted with a fourth-down touchdown pass to Bru McCoy and also a three-and-out defensive stand to get the round back with 4:43 to play and the chance to connect.

However a tiptoe sideline interception by Oregon’s Jamal Hill– the initial fourth-quarter choice of Kedon Slovis’ USC career– finished that drive, and the 13th-ranked Trojans were unable to take a final shot at completion area as stress swallowed up Slovis. And so the Ducks hung on for a 31-24 win in the Pac-12 national championship.

The Ducks streaked onto the Coliseum area to celebrate prior to they were showered with yellow as well as green confetti on the trophy stage. Meanwhile, the Trojans can just strolled dejectedly up the tunnel to their locker space.

“There’s a great deal of hurt souls in our storage locker area right currently,” head train Clay Helton claimed.

Gone were the imagine a first conference title given that 2017, as USC’s unbeaten season dissipated at the most awful possible time, allowing Oregon (4-2) to take the Pac-12’s place in the New Year’s Six bowl slate.

However the Trojans (5-1) had no person to blame however themselves.

A Kana’i Mauga interception returned inside the Oregon 30-yard line with much less than a min left in the first fifty percent produced absolutely no points. A successful onside kick recovered by McCoy that captured the Ducks sleeping in the third quarter caused a three-and-out.

Get points on either of those drives and probably the end result is various. However in the long run, this game looked more like a 2019 USC performance with nine penalties costing the Trojans 98 yards.

The actual killers: An unneeded roughness penalty on Isaiah Pola-Mao on second down in the 3rd quarter, taking a breath life into a drive that ended with an Oregon goal. And a roughing-the-punter fine on safety and security Talanoa Hufanga, which gifted the Ducks an offensive reset that created a 40-yard field objective.

“I would certainly state it was a psychological game,” Pola-Mao stated gently. “Coach always says, ‘‘ When emotions increase, intelligence decreases.’ So things occur and also we just have to secure in the moments and also actually simply be in the video game and be clever.”

The opening secs established the tone for how USC’s night would certainly look. Slovis threw an interception on the third play of the game, a no-doubter to Lenoir Deommodore. A face mask on the 24-yard return placed Oregon inside the Trojans’ 10 to start its first drive.

That resulted in a touchdown, as did Slovis’ 2nd interception, on which he was appealed launch. The Ducks put continuous pressure on Slovis in the very first half, with two sacks as well as several meet-and-greets for the sophomore quarterback in the pocket.

But also down 14, USC started to cut it, simply like it did a week ago against UCLA. The very first strike was to Amon-Ra St. Brown, who went across up his male near the line of skirmish to get open for a 47-yard touchdown, rising with the air to ensure he got rid of the pylon with an Oregon safety and security closing in.

The Ducks scored next, on a play-action misdirection pass to a drawing D.J. Johnson that left the Trojans rotating. Yet USC reacted, with Drake London functioning as a fourth-down safety step to establish a 1-yard touchdown run by Markese Stepp.

But that’s where the missed opportunities started, first with Mauga’s misused interception return that gave the Trojans the opportunity to tie the game prior to the fifty percent. Rather, Parker Lewis’ 41-yarder was no great and Oregon opened the second half with an 83-yard goal drive, provided fresh life by Pola-Mao’s representing penalty.

USC can only respond with a basket, yet caught the Ducks off-guard with a perfectly positioned onside kick by Lewis that McCoy captured as if it were a pass from Slovis.

But the quarterback tossed two incompletions and afterwards was sacked by game MVP Kayvon Thibodeaux, and USC needed to gradually stroll off the field to punt the sphere back to the Ducks.

The Trojans’ season was ending before their eyes, and they were devices to the act.

But they still took care of to get back within a touchdown with 6:16 left, Slovis converting two times on fourth down to McCoy on one drive. As well as the protection got the round back swiftly enough for the Trojans to take a crack at.

However after that the interception, some Oregon clock kill and a failed Hailstorm Mary attempt, as well as it was over.

“I have actually never been connected with a team of kids that deal with more difficult or have even more heart,” Helton stated.

As for what’s next, we’ll see. USC has not determined if it will certainly accept a bowl invite; Helton said he had actually not thought of it before this game, as well as would certainly speak to the gamers before any type of decision was made.

And also there are a host of talented upperclassmen who need to choose concerning whether to go back to college.

Two of them made a lengthy stroll across the area, after the Ducks’ event had actually removed out. Pola-Mao as well as Hufanga stepped side-by-side, gold video game pants still on, to the east end line and also stood under the objective blog post. Perhaps contemplating if they had simply played their last game at the Coliseum, or thinking of a go back to college.

Or perhaps just pondering on opportunities lost and also mistakes made that stop a season-long desire.

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