Southern Cal sputtered its way to a 17-14 victory against Utah State on Saturday. Cody Kessler got the starting nod at quarterback and completed 13 of 26 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown, and running back Tre Madden rushed 24 times for 93 yards and a TD, as the Trojans compiled just 282 yards of total offense – 3 less than Utah State.
Utah State was averaging 49.3 points per game, good enough for 8th in the nation, so if USC fans want to look for something positive out of an another lackluster performance, perhaps look to a strong defensive effort. But, let’s be honest, the Trojans are not looking the greatest this season, at least against quality opponents.
Utah State beat up on Air Force (52-20) and FCS opponent Weber State (70-6), so it’s not exactly like USC was up against a proven juggernaut.
At 3-1 on the season, the Trojans have an opportunity to make something out of their 2013 campaign still. After losing their Pac-12 opener at home to Washington State, USC will travel to #23 Arizona State next week for another big test in conference play. This game should serve as a barometer to see if Lane Kiffin has made the adjustments necessary to compete in a tough conference.
If you win every game by three points, the only thing that matters is that you won. Let’s see if that Trojan defense can be enough to support their as-of-yet- anemic offense.