Accomplishment soon turned into shame once Chris Steele turned all over. The minimal yellow flag lying in the stop zone confirmed the USC defensive back again who had just swiped his arms to sign an incomplete move had no reason to gloat.
Flags marred No. 14 USC’s 42-28 loss to Stanford on Saturday at the Coliseum, costing the Trojans 111 yards on 9 penalties. The yellow handkerchiefs haunted USC defensive backs on extensive throws, gave Stanford additional fourth-down lifetime and even value the Trojans (1-1) their commencing kicker.
Parker Lewis was ejected for focusing on on the opening kickoff immediately after the sophomore lowered his head even though tackling Stanford return male Nathaniel Peat. A assessment verified the infraction, forcing Lewis to sit for the rest of the activity. But with backup Alex Stadthaus coming off the bench to make both equally of his field aim tries and two excess details, that inexplicable commence to the recreation proved to be the least of USC’s penalty anxieties.
As an alternative, the protection that shined all through a time-opening acquire from San Jose Point out quickly missing its luster as defensive backs ended up referred to as for 4 fouls that resulted in computerized very first downs. Steele drew two this kind of penalties, both equally occurring on drives that finished in Stanford touchdowns.
“To be honest, I really feel like a number of of them were being bad phone calls,” stated Steele, who reported he did not concur with the 3rd-quarter go interference get in touch with that negated a pass break up and his ensuing celebration. “But at the finish of the day, we just gotta go again and look at the film and recognize what the ref noticed and go forward and right them.”
Steele also drew an unnecessary-roughness penalty in the next quarter that was 1 of 3 penalties during a nine-play, 75-yard landing drive from Stanford. Steele and Isaac Taylor-Stewart were being each referred to as for 15-property infractions that served transfer the Cardinal (1-1) into the pink zone, but with the sport tied 7-7, the USC protection recovered adequate to drive a field objective on fourth-and-aim from the 7-property line.
Then the distinctive groups device lined up offsides.
With a second probability from the 3-garden line, Stanford scored on a touchdown go from Tanner McKee to Elijah Higgins. The Trojans by no means arrived nearer than a few factors immediately after the drive.
Despite the fact that he admitted USC was comprehensively outplayed Saturday, Trojans coach Clay Helton stated the penalties have been the most important place of worry.
“After coming off a recreation that was so cleanse, then heading back again and getting a night time in which you have nine penalties, that is some thing that … really sticks,” Helton explained, alluding to USC’s 4 penalties for a reduction of 35 yards towards San Jose Point out.
Even the most not likely suspect observed himself on the improper conclude of a penalty. Even though he appreciates Lewis to be an keen playmaker, Stadthaus was shocked to see it was truly the sophomore kicker who was involved in the enjoy.
“I told him, ‘Let’s switch spots for a day,’” Stadthaus mentioned. “I get to be you and you get to be me.”
Lewis hit all 23 of his more place attempts as a freshman past 12 months and manufactured 9-of-13 subject targets with a long of 48 yards. He acquired All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors.
Stadthaus, a three-sport athlete at Austin Vandegrift Significant in Texas who begun kicking as a sophomore in higher school soon after successful a enthusiast halftime contest, dealt with kickoffs as a freshman and sophomore at USC. He sent 60 of his 123 kickoffs for touchbacks before Lewis won the starting up job past year. The previous stroll-on experienced by no means attempted a area objective or further stage in a sport for USC but coolly drilled all of his tries Saturday.
“You gotta be nails,” Stadthaus explained. “This is not a activity for the weak.”