In classic episodes of I Love Lucy, Ricky Ricardo would come upon one of the messes that his wife found herself in and uttered some variation of the famous line, “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.”
Well, USC football isn’t a sitcom and nobody is laughing, but the line still applies.
Steve Sarkisian, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.
Oct 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian reacts during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Explain how the season is nearly halfway over but your talent-laden offense cannot seem to find a rhythm. Explain why you only managed to produce just 27 offensive points against one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12 this year. Explain why you continually dial up cutesy play-calling instead of perfecting the simple stuff.
Explain why your team couldn’t get off the field with a victory, holding a nine point lead with two minutes and 43 seconds remaining. Explain why your team falls apart each and every second quarter, regardless of location, opponent or circumstance. Explain why your team is making the same mistakes now as they did one, two, three weeks ago.
Explain why you had your quarterback kicking punts instead of trusting your special teams unit to get the job done.
Of course, football is a complex game and while it starts at the top, it doesn’t end there.
There are plenty of others with ‘splaining to do.
Justin Wilcox, explain how your defense was set up so open as to allow touchdown passes of 73 and 46 yards in the dying embers of the game.
Tim Drevno, explain how your offensive line could lack the physicality necessary to establish the run.
Hayes Pullard, explain why you, the senior leader of the defense, would ever stand under a Hail Mary pass like a punt instead of knocking it down like a defender should know.
Kevon Seymour, explain why you would risk leaving the field exposed to jump on a route instead of making the tackle and protecting the lead.
Darreus Rogers, explain how someone so sure-handed in the first four games could drop such key passes for first downs and touchdowns.
The simple fact is, there is plenty of blame to go around between coaches and players. There’s even more owning up to do.
It’s one thing to be physically outmatched, but the Trojans can’t use that excuse. They had the talent to exit the Coliseum with a win. They just didn’t have the execution or the sense.
Unfortunately, there’s a limited amount of time to find it.
USC heads to Tuscon in a week where they’ll have to face off with the undefeated Arizona Wildcats. Lose that game and the Trojans will be all but eliminated from the race for the Pac-12 south title.
Then Sarkisian will have even more explaining to do.
What are your thoughts on USC’s last second loss? Sound off in the comments below and vote in the poll.
Who bears the most responsibility for USC's loss to ASU?