USC football is again.
I do know, the Trojans opened their season in opposition to Rice, who hasn’t had a successful season since 2014. And I do know, they entered the sport as 32.5 level favorites. They had been anticipated to do what they did.
However on the identical time, had been they?
Because the 2017 Rose Bowl, USC soccer hasn’t been excellent. Underneath Clay Helton, this crew by no means lived as much as its potential. They performed all the way down to inferior opponents, and struggled in opposition to the higher ones.
However on Saturday, within the inaugural recreation of probably the most thrilling eras of USC soccer, they delivered one of many largest beatdowns in this system historical past — and did so in extraordinarily thrilling style. Their 66 factors was essentially the most that Trojans have scored in a recreation since 2008. Their three interceptions-returned-for-touchdowns tied a franchise file for many in a recreation.
USC solely failed to attain on one offensive drive — the primary of the sport by their backups by which two penalties derailed the drive. And head coach Lincoln Riley was teaching simply as laborious after that drive as he was earlier than the opening one.
It was an all-around dominant effort for the Trojans, one which USC followers had been really not accustomed to seeing. After the sport, redshirt senior and crew captain Justin Dedich summed it up completely:
“Normally followers would depart the sport as a result of we received blown out so unhealthy. [Today] they left as a result of we gained so nicely. That was new to me.”
Temperature at kickoff was 98 levels. With a scarcity of clouds within the sunny, blue LA skies, followers had been cooking within the beaming, scorching solar for the whole three and a half hours of recreation time.
UCLA, who opened its season in opposition to Bowling Inexperienced in Pasadena only a few hours prior, had a record-low attendance of simply 27,143. For a crew anticipated to compete within the Pac-12, it was very clear the warmth was an element.
Not for USC although, as 60,113 sturdy stuffed the Coliseum. Followers piled in early, the joy buzzing all morning.
And people 60,113 who weathered the warmth, nicely they had been rewarded.
USC soccer was lastly enjoyable once more. From the near-perfect recreation from their star quarterback to the thrilling run-game of their four-headed monster within the backfield to their cornucopia of riches on the huge receiver place, the offense by no means stalled. And on the defensive finish, after a gradual begin permitting Rice to march down the sphere for an opening-drive landing, they delivered in a record-breaking manner.
“We’re going to maintain working till folks can’t even stand the considered not coming to a USC soccer recreation,” Riley mentioned after the sport.
In the event that they preserve taking part in like they did on Saturday, that process gained’t be all too troublesome.