LOS ANGELES – As they entered the locker room, picking up their post-game meal on the way to the team bus, USC players were shocked and shocked by the Trojans’ 45-27 defeat to Oregon State.
It was an uncompromising performance, to say the least. Drop passes, missed tackles, four turnovers, 11 penalties and, most disappointingly, little fight or resistance as the Beavers went on to bury the Trojans at 35-3.
Cornerback Chris Steele said, “I feel like we were punched in the chin and not everyone retaliated properly.” “It’s all about the way you react to things. I think today, there was a team out there that probably wanted it more than us.”
It was a similar scene two weeks earlier, when USC (2-2, 1-3 in the Pac-12) was exiting the Coliseum in disbelief after losing to Stanford. It was this defeat that ended Clay Helton’s tenure as head coach, and started Donett Williams as interim charge.
The first two games of the Williams era closely resembled Helton’s final two games: an outright win, and an outright defeat. But after losing to Oregon State, USC players were preaching patience.
“This is not an overnight change; We are trying to build something here,” said quarterback Kydon Slovis. “Coach Deonte did a great job of starting to hold people accountable and changing the culture and building the culture. You’re not going to see a change in a week. We have a lot of work to do and I think The main thing and the message that we are going to get is that we have to stick together and be together.”
Additional Security Isaiah Pola-Mao, “We’re not a finished product yet so we still have a lot of season left.”
Williams’ message in the post-game locker room was fairly simple: Come back tomorrow, get back to work. New week, new rival. Watch the movie, correct the mistakes.
And every situation was a series of mistakes to correct, both between the group and the coaches. But despite the lack of energy in the third quarter, when Oregon State led USC 14–0 and set up another touchdown in the second game of the fourth quarter, Williams felt the team finished the game with just the right energy. .
“I wouldn’t say that people give up at all,” Williams said in her Sunday press conference. “You kick onside, you see people going to take the ball, make tackles and get interceptions, still showing a lot of emotion. So I wouldn’t say that. I would probably say that some guys The faces were down.”
USC travels to Colorado this coming weekend, a 1-3 team that has had its share of struggles over the past few weeks. While the Trojans can’t afford to overlook anyone this season, the real keys aren’t going to be so planned as it will be about USC course-correcting and not repeating last weekend’s mistakes.
“It’s a different opponent, and once again, the opponent is faceless. The opponent is mainly us. What we need to do,” Williams said. “We have to focus on ourselves. As long as we focus on ourselves, things will fix themselves.”
Williams said wide receiver Kyle Ford did not dress for the Oregon State game with a knee issue. Ford has been battling the injury for the past two weeks, but it flared up before he made his way to the Coliseum at the team hotel and informed the coaching staff that he could not play. Safety Chris Thompson Jr. also didn’t wear a dress after a leg injury that plagued him this season flared up over the weekend.