USC football was fun again against Stanford, time to enjoy it

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

USC football was fun on Saturday night, ripping off 35-unanswered points against Stanford at the Coliseum. Don’t overthink it. Just enjoy it.

USC-Stanford. Studs and Duds

USC football’s 45-20 victory over Stanford was nothing short of impressive, as the Trojans fell behind, looked dead in the water, and then came roaring back, riding a wave of momentum all way to the final whistle.

Now is not the time to think back to 2017, when the Trojans put in their last “best performance” against a Stanford team. That was a mirage and USC never quite lived up to that showing. Maybe history will repeat itself. Maybe not.

CHECK OUT: What USC got right and wrong vs. Stanford

Now isn’t the time for wringing of hands, lingering on what has been or anxiety over what could be.

Now is the time for the simple joys of football.

Now is the time to embrace Kedon Slovis, having watched an 18-year-old kid become a leader of men, smiling and laughing as he sets USC passing records for a freshman.

Now is the time to soak in the elation of this Trojan team. A team that stood behind the band while Slovis led a rendition of Conquest! reveling in their teammate’s success.

Safety Isaiah Pola-Mao couldn’t contain himself, shouting through the clamor, “That’s a dawg right there! That’s a dawg!”

“I was just super happy because everybody was talking bad about him. Everybody was doubting him,” Pola-Mao said after. “But I know that he’s a guy. He’s definitely someone to be reckoned with.”

Now is the time to take in Olaijah Griffin’s beaming smile and giddy enthusiasm after breaking up four passes and putting in a performance more than worthy of his five-star billing. It was the culmination of an offseason of rehab after double shoulder surgery, despite serious mismatches against an elite tight end.

“Shoot, that’s some ability I didn’t even know I had. So I feel like Superman after that,” Griffin said through a grin. “I’m just proud of myself. I mean, it’s hard work. And I got myself to this level, and hopefully, I can get myself to the next level.”

Now is the time to celebrate the triumph of veterans coming into their own. Of someone like Connor Murphy, whose frustration at not being able to see the field in his first two seasons was only exacerbated by illness keeping him out of the 2018 season. He came up with a sack as a full-fledged member of USC’s new defensive line rotation.

“This is my fourth year, kind of feel like a senior starting to step up,” Murphy said. “I mean, [I’m a] junkyard dog and he’s off the chain now. So I’ll let it all go tonight.”

Now is the time to remember why you come back every Saturday. Why you’ve continued to come back even though the Trojans have stumbled and faltered and inspired rants and hair-pulling and shaking of heads for weeks on end.

If you’ve asked yourself over the last week or the last year, “Why do I do this to myself?” You got your answer on Saturday night.

Because when USC football is fun. It’s really, really fun.

Don’t take it for granted. Now is the time to enjoy every second of it.