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2021 USC Football vs. Colorado Practice Report: Fixing the Mistakes

Sep 28, 2021

The USC offense was the central focus of tonight's media session after a strong start fizzled in the second half against Oregon State.

  • After a bobbled pass caused an interception on the first drive, the Trojans scored back-to-back touchdowns on Saturday to take a 14-7 lead. But ultimately, the good run was disrupted by untimely errors throughout the rest of the game. "We made critical mistakes at critical times," said OC Graham Harrell. "Mistakes in critical situations get you beat."
  • Harrell specifically referenced dropped passes, penalties and red zone sacks as mistakes that derailed drives. QB Kedon Slovis also threw two late game interceptions, but those were a result of the mounting deficit weighing on the offense. "In terms of my decision making, you have to make a play," Slovis said. "It obviously led to a few picks later, but you have to take more risks later too."
  • Both Harrell and Slovis see an offense that is primed to break out. "I think the biggest thing is playing loose," Slovis said. "If we go play loose and play fast, we're going to play our best football. I don't think we've seen that completely in game form. You've seen that at times in spurts."
  • The running game provided one reason for optimism thanks to Keaontay Ingram who ran for 5.6 yards per carry and two touchdowns. "He's showing that right now he's healthy," Donte Williams said about Ingram. "He ran the ball physical. He made some guys miss in this past game. I think that's only going to improve. Running backs are all about rhythm. He's starting to find his groove."
  • Drake London continues to be the most consistent player on the Trojans, averaging 135 yards receiving per game to lead the nation. "He's a beast," Williams said. "From day one, before the season started, I said that's the Biletnikoff winner. Nothing is shocking me that he's doing. I expect it."
  • The offense could use a boost from the defense this week against a Colorado offense that has struggled mightily but is capable of running the football well. The Buffaloes will be buoyed by the fact that Oregon State ran for 322 yards against the Trojans. "I have full faith as far as the game plan that we'll fix what happened last week," Williams said. "At the same time, we're doing some other things to make sure we improve."
  • The coaches are looking for more big bodies to stack up front, but the nose tackle position has been devastated by injury (Brandon Pili and Ishmael Sopsher) and transfer (Jay Toia), leaving USC desperately short on 300-pounders. "It was always a concern coming into the season because our three biggest guys we lost for various reasons," Williams said.