It’s now or never for Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

In wake of their first loss of the season, Washington State handed the USC Trojans and Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold a reality check.

Washington State improved to 5-0 after  the win, while USC fell to 4-1.

Living on Cloud 9 can only last so long, and the USC Trojans are figuring that out the hard way. After hanging around as a top five team in the nation, USC finally met its match in Washington State.

The Cougars took down the Trojans by making sure that Sam Darnold wouldn’t be a problem for their defense. Washington State won by just three, but that’s all they needed to get a grip on USC’s season.

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The loss absolutely changes their perspective on things moving forward, especially after the latest poll has USC ranked outside the top ten for the first time all season. Sam Darnold and the USC offense need to respond on Oct. 7 when they host Oregon State.

We got to see from the Washington State loss just how much it changes the winning capabilities of the Trojans when Darnold is a non-factor. Instead of a dominating performance, he went 15-29 through the air, throwing no touchdowns and tossing one interception.

His average yardage per throw was under six yards, and overall only threw for 164 yards. While Darnold wasn’t able to do much damage through the air, to his credit he did run for  two scores and Ronald Jones II ran for the other.

Unfortunately, Darnold also had a lost fumble in the game. The inability to handle the ball responsibly was just one of the ways you could highlight the loss.

Next: Yes, The Rams Are Really 3-1 Again

There are still a handful of games before USC hosts its season finale versus UCLA, including games against Utah, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Arizona, and Colorado. Utah and Notre Dame are both ranked opponents, so if USC can muster some momentum going into that stretch, it’ll definitely help their efforts moving forward.