The Stanford Cardinal had a 21-10 lead at halftime (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

USC suffered a tough loss against Stanford on Saturday night, and it doesn’t look good as many fans and players visibly showed their frustration. Prior to being fired on Monday, Clay Helton assured that USC was on the right track and needed time. 

“Let’s see at the end of the year. Let’s see. It’s Game two, and I have total faith in this staff. I have total faith in the men that are in there, players, coaches. We didn’t play our best tonight. But I know this. At the end of the season, see where we’re at.”

Former USC head coach Clay Helton (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Helton said they lost their first conference game and mentioned they would continue to get wins and add them up. “I know it will be a successful season in the end. When you look up, we did not do what we did in the first game.”

USC gave up 87 yards in the first quarter on a rush when Stanford’s running back, Nathaniel Peat sprinted to the end zone.

USC fans show disappointment in wake of the loss to Stanford (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Nothing was easy for USC. Quarterback Kedon Slovis finished 22-35 while throwing for 223 yards, with one touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Trojan’s third-down efficiency, red-zone offense, and penalties led them to destruction. The majority of the night, USC settled for field goals. USC also finished with eight penalties for 104 yards.

Helton stated that their offensive coordinator Graham Harrell does a wonderful job at diagnosing their issues after each series. The Trojans were 4-14 on third down averaging 3.0 yeards on those conversion attempts.

Rapper YG shoots T-shirts into the crowd (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

USC did not start the game well when their kicker Parker Lewis got ejected for targeting on the game’s first play. Things went downhill from there. Helton said, “When you look at it across the board, they beat us in every phase.”

The boos came down, and the fans started to leave long before the game was over. Fans are devastated every year because USC can’t get the job down with a large talent pool. People expect USC to be a highly competitive program, and the fans want more from Helton.

(L-R)USC offensive lineman Courtland Ford (#74), USC safety Chris Thompson Jr. (#30), and Stanford running back E.J. Smith(#22) (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

USC legend Keyshawn Johnson posted on Twitter, “I’m so pissed, I can no longer FIGHT ON for him…. Period embarrassing.” Former USC Quarterback Matt Leinart tweeted out his frustrations. “This is just bad. I saw Oregon today up close and personal, and they would drop the hammer on SC. Two programs are going in different directions.”

USC was outplayed Saturday night, and Stanford dominated the #14 ranked Trojans. The USC Football community is concerned, and USC needs to respond so fans can be at rest about this season.

Next Saturday, the Trojans will take their first road game against Washington St.

(E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)