USC vs. Colorado 2017: Studs and duds from Trojans’ South-clinching win

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images /
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Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /


Jack Jones

Everyone has days when things just don’t seem to be going right. Unfortunately for Jones, his day came on Saturday.

After starting extremely strong in coverage on the talented Colorado receivers, the ball hawk in Jones got the better of him. First, he blew coverage trying to jump an out route in the third quarter. Then, getting turned around on a post not long after, Jones gave up two long touchdown catches.

Later in the fourth quarter, he fumbled the ball on the kick off return. Fortunately, the ball bounced right back up into his arms.

Jones also had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for talking to the other team. It was a rough day for Jack Jones, but it didn’t cost the team the win. Unfortunately, the film session will be a tough one for him to sit through.

The Pistol Formation

USC loves to run out of the pistol formation, and at times it has succeeded for them. However, the Trojans insisting on it Saturday was almost a critical mistake.

A team that struggles against the run like Colorado is going to key in on Ronald Jones. They know they’re bad against the run, so when you line up in a run formation they are going to come downhill at it. Slow developing pistol run plays, with an offensive line who was struggling to hold blocks, is a bad mix.

Thank goodness that offensive coordinator Tee Martin seemed to realize in time that an adjustment was needed. With a running back like Jones II, the young offensive line doesn’t need to sustain blocks on the line of scrimmage very long. So instead of making it hard for them by running these plays out of the pistol, they moved to just give it Jones II out of the shotgun or offset gun alignment and let him hit the hole fast.

When Jones II can get the ball and hit the hole fast, he makes big plays. It’s plain and simple.

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Having fun on the football field

Apparently the NCAA is not a fan of the elaborate celebrations that are going on in the NFL. Or at least the Pac-12 referees do not like letting kids have fun playing a game.

It’s understandable that there’s a bunch of people out there who like their football antiseptic and plain. However, throwing the flag for spinning the ball after the catch is so lame.

Spinning a ball after you make a big catch is literally the fourth thing you learn as a wide receiver. First is make the diamond. Second is do not use your body to make the catch. Third is to look the ball in and secure the catch. Fourth is to immediately spin the ball while getting up and fifth is make the first down gesture.

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That’s not how everyone else was taught? Either way, it is college, and it is supposed to be fun. Let the kids be kids ref!