30-20 Trojans Win
This game didn’t come easy for the Trojans, who got all they could handle from a surprising Cal squad, but ultimately blew it open in the fourth quarter, leading by as much as 17 before the Bears closed the margin in garbage time. There’s still a lot that Trojans fans are not happy about, at least if their eyes are set on the playoff. For Cal, there’s a ton of frustration, as the Bears turned it over 6 times, basically giving away this winnable football game.
USC’s Offense Can’t Get Going
USC managed only 4.7 yards per play. That’s an abysmal number against anybody, but against Cal’s historically paper-thin defense it’s downright distressing. Of course, Cal has a roster full of scholarship players, too, and there’s something happening in Berkeley. They’ve held every team to 30 points or less so far this season, which may not sound great to you- but for comparison, Cal gave up 170 points in the first four games of 2016- an average of 42.5 a contest.
USC Takes Advantage of Turnovers
Four of the Bears’ six turnovers came in the fourth quarter, and USC capitalized, scoring two touchdowns off of those giveaways. Those gifts defined a game that was tied at the end of the third quarter, and the story for the Bears is one of many missed opportunities. There’s a lot to build on for the Bears, but they could have had this win.
There’s no let-up for either of these teams, as Cal travels to Oregon on Saturday and USC travels to Washington State for a Friday game. Both of these teams are going to have to find a way to play better if they want to win next week.