The USC football season got started with the most frustrating of miracle wins over Arizona State. It resulted in plenty of stud and dud performances.
Here’s a stud: USC’s final three minutes. And a dud: the first 57 minutes. At least, that’s how it felt in the annual USC football season opener at the Coliseum against Arizona State.
The 28-27 win finished on a high with a couple of fantastic showings, but had too many lows to be the dream start Clay Helton and Co. had dreamed of. Let’s talk it out…
The Studs from USC Football vs. ASU
The superstar of USC’s offense was far and away do-everything wide receiver/faux tight end Drake London. And that could’ve been said way before he won the game for the Trojans with an incredible 4th-down do-or-die touchdown snag up the seam from Kedon Slovis with 1:20 left in the game. The sophomore routinely went the extra mile, either by evading defenders to spring free for Slovis, or by continuing to churn his legs and fight for extra yardage with the ball in his hands. London finished with eight catches for 125 yards and one massive touchdown.
While Pola-Mao did get exposed on a 55-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, he made up for it by consistently being one of the Trojans’ most active and productive defenders. He had a pair of pass breakups and a tackle for loss.
No one was in the right place at the right time on Saturday than redshirt freshman Bru McCoy. He got USC’s comeback started with a tip-drill touchdown catch on 4th-and-13 late in the first quarter —the first score of his career— and then immediately followed it up by recovering the onside kick. The debut was worth the wait.
Parker Lewis can’t lose. He just can’t. The freshman kicker made his first career start Saturday morning and won the game for the Trojans. It was his onside kick that gave USC a shot in the closing minutes, followed by his extra point that proved to be the difference. Talk about a dream start for the kid from Scottsdale, Ariz.
Without Jay Tufele on the defensive line, someone has to step up to be the focal point of the Trojans up front. Against ASU, it was Tuipulotu. He was constantly in the backfield as part of an aggressive defense and recorded USC’s only sack of the game.