The 2019 Weekender went much better than anticipated for USC, as the Trojans defeated Cal 41-17 in Berkeley to avenge last year’s loss.
USC faced a test on Saturday night against Cal, but instead of floudering as they did in 2018, they came away with a 41-17 victory.
Concerns about Justin Wilcox’s normally stingy defense proved to be unfounded as Kedon Slovis led the Trojans up and down the field all night, and the USC defense handled Cal’s punchless offense with relative ease.
Here are the takeaways from the win…
Kedon Slovis is even better than we thought
When USC turned to Kedon Slovis to start the second game of 2019, he proceeded to shred the Stanford secondary for 377 yards on 28-of-33 passing and three touchdowns. He made spectacular throws that had the USC faithful salivating over his potential.
At the time, it seemed likely that we had already watched peak Slovis. It couldn’t get any better than that, could it?
Then came Saturday night. The Desert Mountain High School product was brilliant once again, completing 29-of-35 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns, despite receiving inconsistent offensive line play and little support in the run game.
Slovis deftly navigated the pocket like former Golden Bear quarterback Aaron Rodgers to avoid defenders and extend plays leading to massive chunks of yardage or key conversions.
Even better, the freshman consistently read the Cal defense and reacted with the proper throws. His downfield shots were far from the YOLO Raid, as he gave his dynamic receivers opportunities in one-on-one situations, which is exactly what you should do when Michael Pittman Jr. or Amon-Ra St. Brown have a corner on an island.
And how about the arm talent? Slovis drove the ball downfield multiple times with excellent velocity and tantalizing accuracy.
Regardless of the team’s record this season, or who is coaching the Trojans next year, USC supporters can rest easy knowing that Slovis is their quarterback for at least two more seasons.