Sunday, October 26, 2014

Utah Takes Big Step in Pac-12

Utah's three-game losing streak to USC ended Saturday night  when the Utes pulled off a 24-21 win in the final seconds in Salt Lake City. It was the Trojans' third loss of the season and their second defeat in Pac-12 play under first-year coach Steve Sarkisian. Utah, which had beaten UCLA at the Rose Bowl earlier this season, used its rough-and-tumble defense to slow down USC's stellar tailback Buck Allen, and pressure quarterback Cody Kessler, who earlier in the week had basked in the attention of fans and media after throwing seven touchdown passes against Colorado.


add Utah: The Utes have a Pac-12 South Division showdown this weekend when they travel to Tempe, Ariz., to play the Arizona State Sun Devils. USC, which has now lost to both Arizona State and Utah, coincidentally on plays at the end of the game, would appear to be out of the race for the conference's South Division championship. With games still to be played against UCLA and Notre Dame, and a road game at Pullman, Wash., against Washington State, the Trojans appear to be set to return to a second-tier bowl game again, such as the Las Vegas Bowl, where they won last season against Fresno State.


add USC: The post-mordem commentary on the radio after the Trojans loss to Utah centered around the offensive play calling, a familiar discussion when Lane Kiffin coached at USC. Both Kiffin and Sarkisian were assistants under Pete Carroll as offensive coordinators. At Washington, Sarkisian's record was barely above .500 while Kiffin's tenure as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders, at Tennessee and USC, is checkered at best.

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