If the USC vs WSU game ended at the 26 minute mark, it would have been a signature win for an embattled staff. Instead it was the fourth time in seven games that Rolovich’s squad completely imploded after the half.
Leads blown by #WSU under Nick Rolovich followed by the final score of those games:— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) September 18, 2021
– #Oregon: 19-7/43-29 Ducks
– #Utah: 28-7/45-28 Utes
– #UtahSt: 23-11/26-23 Aggies
– #USC: 14-0/28-14 Trojans (currently in 3Q)
Rolovich’s poor decision making when it comes to the quarterback after Jayden de Laura went down with an injury was perplexing. There are three other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster and they rolled out walk-on Victor Gabalis got the majority of snaps after the injury. While Gabalis clearly has cannon for an arm, his accuracy left much to be desired at times on Saturday.
The Trojans’ offense overcame the loss of starting quarterback Kedon Slovis thanks to the performance of Jaxon Dart and Drake London. Those two combined to take control of the game and absolutely put the game out of reach.
It’s hard to imagine a coach’s seat being so hot after only six games. But the lack of recruiting, his horrific messaging on his vaccination status, and a startling inconsistent inability to hold onto halftime leads has put Rolovich and the Cougar football program in an untenable position.
1) Oregon Ducks
Mario Cristoball had his Ducks out to play on Saturday as they looked sharp from the get go against Stony Brook. It was imperative to avoid a let down game after beating Ohio State and Oregon did exactly that.
2) UCLA Bruins
Another Pac-12 team that lost to a really tough Mountain West program, the Bruins were unable to contain Jake Haener as he averaged 8.6 yards through the air with the touchdowns and one interception. The defense is going to have to step up down the stretch if Chip Kelly’s squad is going to compete for a division title.
3) Arizona State
The Sun Devils first real test of the season ended with a 10-point loss to BYU. ASU was unable to overcome a second quarter in which it was outscored 14-0. This was an offense that looked inept as it struggled to move the ball forward at times as the Mormon Cougars kept their explosive plays in check.
4) Stanford Cardinal
Is Stanford back? The offense sure looks like it as they 5.6 yards per carry with three rushing touchdowns. While the passing game continues to be a concern, if they can rely on their tailbacks, the Cardinal will be able to chew up yards against their opponents…especially later in the season.
5) Colorado Buffaloes
Minnesota is a good football team and a solid program, but the fact that the offense struggled again is a major concern for the Buffs. Colorado scored zero points while averaging 3.4 yards per pass attempt and -0.9 yards per carry. Those are numbers that are only going to get them in trouble come conference play.
6) Utah Utes
A two-point loss to a talented San Diego State team, on the road, is nothing for Utes fans to fret about. In fact, I would find it encouraging that the offense responded in the fourth quarter to force overtime; but I would be concerned about a defense that has struggled against talented running backs in the last two weeks.
7) Oregon State Beavers
The Beavers did exactly what they were supposed to do in pasting Idaho at home. It’s the kind of win that OSU football has been missing over the last decade. We’ll see if they can continue their momentum as they head into Pac-12 play.
8) USC Trojans
Southern California’s version do the Air Raid was ineffective until its last drive in the first half. After that, Dart absolutely shredded the WSU secondary as his offense reeled off 45-unanswered points on the road. If Donte Williams rolls out anyone else as the starter in the next game he is making a big mistake.
9) Washington Huskies
Jimmy Lake’s squad finally figured out how to function on the offensive side of the ball as they scored 52 points against Arkansa State. The Huskies averaged nine yards per passing attempt and 5.1 yards per carry in the units first real sign of life in 2021.
10) California Golden Bears
Cal’s first win of the season came against an explosive Sacramento State squad that refused to be put away. The play of senior quarterback Chase Gabbers continues to be an area of concern as averaged 8.5 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and an interception. Against Sacramento State it was enough…but it won’t be against Pac-12 opponents.
11) Washington State Cougars
It was a complete and utter failure on both sides of the ball as the Cougs got boat raced in the second half. I’m pretty sure that London owns Martin Stadium after the defense gave up 13.1 yards per catch and two touchdowns to the junior.
12) Arizona Wildcats
The Wildcats repeatedly got punched in the mouth by FCS Northern Arizona on Saturday in a 19-21 loss. There was very little to like on both sides of the ball as Jedd Fisch is staring a potential 0-12 season right in the face.