USC Defense Ripped by CFB Twitter for Costing Trojans CFP Berth in Loss vs. Utah

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 3, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 02: Ja'Quinden Jackson #3 of the Utah Utes celebrates after running the ball for a touchdown during the second quarter of the PAC-12 Championship football game against the USC Trojans at Allegiant Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The USC football team will not be going to the College Football Playoff after falling to Utah 47-24 in the Pac 12 Championship Game on Friday evening in Las Vegas.

The No. 4 Trojans were guaranteed a postseason berth with a win over the No. 11 Utes, but a disastrous defensive effort led to USC's second defeat against Utah this year.

Utah rolled for 533 total yards, with quarterback Cameron Rising completing 22-of-34 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. His 60-yard toss to tight end Thomas Yassmin gave the Utes a 33-24 lead in the fourth quarter.

FOX College Football @CFBONFOX

💪 <a href="https://twitter.com/TYassmin21?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TYassmin21</a> ARE YOU KIDDING?<a href="https://twitter.com/Utah_Football?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Utah_Football</a> makes it a 2 score game 😤 <a href="https://t.co/LEphhNMUsI">pic.twitter.com/LEphhNMUsI</a>

The Utes steamrolled the Trojans on the ground as well with 223 yards and three scores on 35 carries (6.4 YPC).

After the Yassmin touchdown and a R.J. Hubert interception of USC quarterback Caleb Williams, Utes running back Ja'Quinden Jackson rushed for a 53-yard touchdown for a 39-24 edge.

FOX College Football @CFBONFOX

ANOTHA ONE 🔥<a href="https://twitter.com/leg3ndaryjaay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@leg3ndaryjaay</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Utah_Football?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Utah_Football</a> ARE ROLLIN' 😤 <a href="https://t.co/oczQ2h2fvM">pic.twitter.com/oczQ2h2fvM</a>

The Utes defense then forced a turnover on downs before a Micah Bernard score put the game away for good.

FOX College Football @CFBONFOX

👀 <a href="https://twitter.com/Utah_Football?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Utah_Football</a> 🤝 End Zones<br><br>TOUCHDOWN UTES‼️ <a href="https://t.co/kbHeg27agg">pic.twitter.com/kbHeg27agg</a>

The USC offense did all it could with Williams, the clear Heisman Trophy favorite, hobbled with a midgame lower-body injury that briefly sent him to the medical tent. He still impressed with 363 passing yards and three touchdowns.

However, the Utah offensive line dominated the trenches, allowing the skill-position players with more than enough room to dissect the USC defense through the air and on the ground.

That enables Utah to finish the evening on a 44-7 run after falling behind 17-3 in the second quarter, and Twitter noted the team's significant defensive struggles as a result.

RedditCFB @RedditCFB

At this point we're kind of curious what the 4 CFP teams would've done to this USC defense...

Geoff Schwartz @geoffschwartz

That’s is pathetic defense and effort from USC right now.

Pat Forde @ByPatForde

... And we have seen why Caleb Williams has to be great. Because the USC defense is soft.

Emory Hunt @FBallGameplan

Nothing is more demoralizing than what Utah’s offense has done to USC’s defense in the 2nd half

Stephen Holder @HolderStephen

I don’t even care who wins this game, but I’m throughly offended by USC’s defense. Like, what?

Robert Griffin III @RGIII

USC’s Achilles heel all year. The Defense

Matt Bowen @MattBowen41

The USC defense can’t match the physical play style of Utah tonight.

Paloma Villicana FOX5 @PalomaVillicana

USC left their defense in LA.

Zach Shaw @_ZachShaw

How did USC win 11 games with this defense?

Ryan Nanni @celebrityhottub

somebody check the sliders on this USC defense

Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks

Utah just bullying USC defense. Physical run after catch and embarrassingly bad tackling.

Utah will now be heading to the Rose Bowl as the Pac-12 representative. USC will await its bowl fate following Saturday's conference championship games.