USC Football came into the Pac-12 Championship Game without their No. 1 offensive lineman in Andrew Vorhees. Then, when the game got going, QB and Heisman front-runner Caleb Williams was noticed with a gash on his hand that was most certainly significant. He also looked hobbled the whole game as well. He was injured. He found himself down 27-17 as he headed into the fourth quarter.
Then, when he was trying to come back, his starting center and No. 2 offensive lineman in Brett Neilon went down to injury. Not only did he not have any mobility in this game due to his injury, but he also now had his pocket collapsing all night long. Williams put up a valiant effort, and one that should still win him a Heisman Trophy.
He completed 28 of 41 passes for 363 yards, and threw three touchdowns. But he ran for just 21 rushing yards on 12 carries. He didn't have his trademarked escapability due to how hampered he was by his injury. The team ended up losing by a rough score of 47-24, though. SC's offense couldn't get anything going with the injuries they were facing.
Remember, RB1 Travis Dye hasn't played since Week 11. Then the QB and his top two linemen going down proved to be too deep of a hole to dig out of. This was especially the case when the defense couldn't stop Utah, and allowed 47 points and 533 total yards to the Utes. Utah QB Cam Rising completed 22 of 34 passes for 310 passing yards and three touchdowns. He had no turnovers.
USC Football allowed 223 rushing yards to Utah on 35 carries.
That means that USC Football gave up 6.4 rush yards per attempt. They also allowed three rushing scores--two to Ja'Quinden Jackson and one to Micah Bernard. Jackson had 13 carries for 105 rushing yards. Bernard had 11 carries for 88 rushing yards.
SC also couldn't stop Utes WR Money Parks, who had four catches for 88 receiving yards and a touchdown catch. Thomas Yassmin had a couple clutch catches for over 20 yards. One was even for 60 and a touchdown. The defense didn't get the job done, and neither did the offense. The offense was gutsy, and never mailed it in despite them having a brutal time staying healthy.
The defense appeared to have given up, however, which was disappointing to see. SC very well may be kept out of the College Football Playoff in favor of 11-1 Ohio State, despite the Buckeyes not making their Conference Championship Game. Despite this loss, SC wildly outperformed expectation to get to an 11-2 season just one year after going 4-8.