Much of the half-hour previous to the end at frantic AT&T Stadium appeared wonderful.
Tulane gamers run wildly throughout the sector, swimming from sideline to sideline, operating nonstop and unhindered.
The USC gamers are standing there.
Tulane gamers bounce, leap, hiss, go loopy in circles across the turf and one another.
USC gamers gazing him by means of tears.
An ESPN tv reporter requested Tulane coach Willie Fritz what simply occurred.
“I’m not sure,” he stated.
Oh, fairly the opposite, within the wake of Tulane’s surprising 46-45 blowout of USC in Monday’s Cotton Bowl, it’s clear what simply occurred.
The stinking stain occurred underneath the rule of Lincoln Riley. The existence of the USC fan is cursed. The Trojans had weekly embarrassment, month-to-month humiliation and a season-lengthy infamy.
USC protection held.
Just questioning, however how a lot of Riley’s estimated $10 million annual wage is being paid to offensive expertise to teach on the opposite facet of the ball?
Nothing, apparently, as a result of that’s what their protection did in finishing this crew’s staggering run from the College Football Playoff semifinal door to a pathetic pile of smoking wreckage.
Remember their most up-to-date debacle, the 533 whole yards given up by the Trojans within the second half in opposition to Utah within the Pac-12 Championship?
He was wild bunch stuff in comparison with Monday afternoon, when the tire tracks have been deep and indelible, protecting 539 yards within the last 4-and-a-half minutes, serving to him open up a 15-level lead.
Seriously, this is likely to be the worst protection in USC soccer historical past. Trojans can’t settle. They can’t cowl.
they. cannot do. cease. any.
One second, Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams was huddled and slouching on the sidelines whereas having fun with the masterpiece of his younger profession, 462 passing yards and 5 passing touchdowns on tender hamstrings.
The subsequent second, Williams was helplessly sitting on the bench, staring up on the sky as his defensive teammates fell right into a murky pool of Cardinals and Gold.
One second, the Trojans and their unstoppable offense have been in management, their lead 45–30, over-matched and outmaneuvered by the Green Wave, it was recreation over.
The very subsequent second, the Trojan protection gave up a landing following a 59-yard cross completion from Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt to Deuce Watts. Shortly thereafter, USC scored the profitable landing on a six-yard cross from Pratt to Alex Bauman on the finish of a 66-yard drive with no timeouts that included two fourth quarter conversions.
That’s proper, two quarters down conversion.
In the midst of all of it, Mario Williams of the Trojans mishandled the kickoff that in the end led to a security, however please, don’t blame the child or the offense.
It was a couple of protection that brutally took away all of the shine from one other offensive gem. It was a couple of protection that jeopardized Riley’s teaching credibility at Oklahoma and is doing it once more.
Riley absolutely will make off-season adjustments to his defensive management beginning with troubled coordinator Alex Grinch, proper? Riley definitely feels that he’s operating the danger of ruining the ultimate season of arguably the best quarterback in USC historical past by forcing Williams to hold this crappy defensive baggage, doesn’t he?
For the document, it’s utterly absurd to assume that Williams’ representatives will march into Riley’s workplace this week demanding defensive adjustments or coming into the quarterback switch portal.
or is it?
Williams instructed reporters after Monday’s nightmare, “It’s going to last … It’s going to burn.”
Whatever occurs throughout the program, tolerating a protection that ranks 119th out of 131 FBS groups is unfair to Williams, unfair to USC followers and an insult to the duty that goes with that vast contract When did he final work? chilly.
He has to teach the entire crew, okay? Anything much less and Riley is just not fulfilling the resolve he has made to show the Trojans into championship contenders.
One season later, regardless of turning this system from 4-8 to 11-3, it stays a promise unfulfilled.
Riley stated, “I can remember losing so much in my entire career.” “We clearly position ourselves in an unprecedented position to accomplish this.”
they did. They scored twice within the first, that they had the ball, fouls blocked, receivers open, Williams was spectacular and at one level within the second quarter, that they had outscored Tulane 185–21.
But then the protection was pushed, and as feared, it promptly folded.
Defensive lineman Nick Figueroa stated, “The offense is out there, they know they have to make a play, so the defense can’t sit on their heels to get a stop.” “No, you have to make a play.”
Trojan didn’t. Instead, they have been performed in quite a lot of methods.
Tulane scored after a 40-yard run by Pratt. Tulane scored once more with Jaquan Jackson scoring on an 87-yard run.
USC scored twice earlier than halftime to take one other 14-level lead, however within the second half, its protection couldn’t shut the deal, giving up massive performs in tight conditions.
Runs of 47 yards and 62 yards by Tyjay Spears led to touchdowns that saved the Green Wave shut earlier than lastly dismantling USC. Overall, Spears gained 205 yards, Tulane rushed for 305 yards, and Riley stated it was the distinction.
“Our tackling against a good back hurt us,” Riley stated. “That was the story. That’s the entire recreation.
Although Riley was cautious to not overtly criticize the Grinch or any defender personally, he admitted that he was involved about all these fast runs and lengthy passes.
“We gave up big plays … not tackled at the level we expected … very, very dangerous … something we’ve got to work on better,” he stated.
That work begins with him. That work begins now.
He has a quarterback who deserves a shot at a nationwide championship. He has a fan base that deserves a return to continued greatness. He must cease obsessing over the success of his one-12 months turnaround and notice that nobody will likely be completely happy till he will get the job completed by constructing a protection that may shut video games.
Until he does, there is no such thing as a distinction between Lincoln Riley and the unsuccessful USC coaches earlier than him.
“There’s a lot of momentum in this program,” Riley claimed. “Today’s outcome, as sickening as it’s, doesn’t change that. The actuality is that we’re right here and we’re not going anyplace.
If that doesn’t repair the protection, then that’s all proper.
The USC soccer program is, as soon as once more, going nowhere.
[Disclaimer: This story was automatically generated by a computer program and was not created or edited by Journalpur Staff. Publisher: Journalpur.com]