Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sam Darnold Brings New Confidence to USC (VIDEO)

I watched.

USC looked a little rusty at times, but the Trojans combined a strong running game with Darnold's formidable passing offense. I like what I see.

Here's Bill Plaschke, who likes it too, at LAT, "The Sam Darnold of old is back, and he's brought USC new confidence":

The relief washed through the overheated USC football fans like that cool breeze that poured into the Coliseum.

In his second game of the season, Sam Darnold finally threw his first touchdown pass.

And his second. And his third. And his fourth.

One week after saying the muddled victory in baking temperatures against Western Michigan was “probably the worst I’ve felt after a game in college,” Darnold was soothed, the Trojans were refreshed, and their peskiest of rivals were rolled.

For only the third time in 10 games, USC actually beat Stanford — actually beat the Cardinal here, and actually beat them with smarts and toughness and a quarterback who epitomized both. This was a story of an athletic defense, acrobatic receivers and runners who flew behind a dominant offensive line. But it is a story that began and ended with Darnold, who threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns despite two more interceptions in a 42-24 victory Saturday at the Coliseum.

“It was nice to kind of feel like — it’s kind of cliché — but to kind of feel like my old self,” Darnold said.

From Darnold, Trojan fans love cliché, because cliché is him leading them to 11 consecutive wins while barely raising his voice. The unusual was Darnold being shut out against Western Michigan. The cliché was Saturday when at times it seemed the only person who could stop him was himself.

And you thought all the Los Angeles quarterback hype today would be about UCLA’s Josh Rosen...
Rosen had a great day against Hawaii, throwing for five TDs.

But keep reading. (More about Rosen shortly.)