USC's College Football Playoff hopes end with upset loss to Utah in Pac-12 Championship Game
The USC Trojans’ College Football Playoff hopes went up in smoke Friday night in the 47-24 upset loss to the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
The Trojans were rolling in the first half up 17-3, but things quickly came to a halt when USC went for it on 4th and 8 and ended up turning it over on downs. The Utes really never looked back.
Utah outscored USC 44-7 for the remainder of the game to win back-to-back Pac-12 Championships.
Heisman Trophy frontrunner Caleb Williams suffered a lower-body injury at mid-game, and that absolutely changed the momentum. Utah bullied USC’s line of scrimmage the rest of the way, and it took over the game.
While the talk about the offense and Williams will get headlines, USC’s defense also struggled against a bigger, physical Utah offense. The Trojans defensive unit missed more than 20 tackles.
It has been a strong first year for USC under Lincoln Riley, but there are certainly problems he has to fix in Year 2. The Trojans aren’t big enough on the defensive line to match a physical team to consistently stop the run. There’s also an obvious lack of depth in the front 7.
USC was ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Now that the Trojans lost, Ohio State (No. 5) and Alabama (No. 6) await their fate after Championship Weekend.