USC Football started rather slow again in their Week 6 matchup against Washington State. They came into the half up by just three points, by a score of 17-14. The offense wasn't looking as sharp as they typically do, and the defense looked shaky in some important spots too. The question was, could they bounce back and dominate the second half like last week?
SC found the answer, and luckily, they did it in fantastic fashion. The Trojans ended up winning the Pac-12 contest, 30-14. The defense didn't allow a single point in the second half, and looked terrific. Many Trojans really showed out on the day, and the best defensive Trojan in particular. Tuli Tuipulotu had three sacks(!), five tackles, and FOUR tackles for loss.
That's the best game Tuipulotu's had all year, which is saying quite a bit. This is the same guy who had four tackles for loss, a sack, a PD, and a forced fumble against Stanford Week 2. This game was even better. He's developed incredibly rapidly in his time at USC, especially when remembering that he somehow was just a three-star recruit out of high school.
It wasn't just Tuli in particular who feasted, though. It's important to remember the guys on offense who showed out. Travis Dye was sensational; going for 149 rushing yards on 28 carries. He also added on three catches for 18 yards. Scoring another touchdown against the Cougars, he's up to six rushing scores on the season.
USC Football rode the running game and toughened up on defense to break this game open in the second half.
USC Football starting Strong Safety Calen Bullock was ejected early on in the contest after a controversial targeting call, and the defense looked a little out of sorts right out of that. They made the right adjustments at half, just as they did last week, to keep the Cougs out of the game all second half.
Mario Williams was excellent as well, catching four passes for 82 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was especially important considering that WR1 Jordan Addison missed time during the game due to injury. USC being able to move the ball consistently despite their best receiver being out was important.
Caleb Williams only completed 15 of 29 passes for just 188 yards, but the running game was too dominant to move away from. Besides, the fact that SC won comfortably without Williams being his typical Superman self was a feat in itself.
The result is that SC has now advanced to 6-0 on the season as they head to Salt Lake City to take on the Utes in what may be their toughest game of the year so far.