A Teachable Moment

Taylor Mays

The numbers were pretty devastating, with USC giving up 613 total yards, but I promise not to go into all the stats, point out all the mistakes or try and assign blame to individual players and coaches. What is important now is what comes next, how the Trojans respond to the lopsided loss, and most importantly, what they learn from the beat down in Eugene.

The Trojans got blown out for the first time since Pete Carroll got the ball rolling at USC in a stunning 47-20 loss Saturday night in the madhouse commonly known as Autzen Stadium.

It wasn't a huge surprise that USC lost to a very good Oregon team on the road, because things like that happen when you face talented teams, but the manner in which the Trojans were defeated was quite a shock.

"We just came out and got our butts kicked. That happens in football sometimes," linebacker Chris Galippo said. "You are not going to win every game, and every once in while you get your butt kicked and your face shoved in the dirt. That's what happened."

The numbers were pretty devastating, with USC giving up 613 total yards, which was the second-most in the history of the program, but I promise not to go into all the stats, point out all the mistakes or try and assign blame to individual players and coaches.

What is important now is what comes next, how the Trojans respond to the lopsided loss, and most importantly, what they learn from the beat down in Eugene.

"It was quite impacting that night and you get a day to live through it and then we have to get back on track," Pete Carroll said "We started the process in the locker room and moved ahead today to make sure that we left it behind us.

"It's an L and we are trying to leave it at that."

The Trojans got knocked around like they have never been knocked around in the Pete Carroll era, and while it's simplistic and cliché to say, the truth of the matter is, it's all about how you pull yourself up off the mat and respond.

"It's part of the game. What's more important is that you have the ability to deal with a loss," Galippo said. "What makes a really good football player is someone who can lose and get back up and win."

With two losses in conference play already in the books, the Trojans are going to need a ton of help to win the Pac-10, and frankly that shouldn't even be a thought in their minds.

This is a team filled with talented young players at nearly every spot on the field and with all the BCS debate now out of the way, they need to concentrate on improving each and every week in practice.

"We will just do it one day at a time, that's how you rebuild your mentality," Carroll said.

After Saturday's loss, safety Taylor Mays stood worn out and defeated, in a cramped room in front of the national media, and proclaimed that the Trojans would respond with a strong week of practice.

"We have a lot of pride in how we play football at USC," Mays said. "To take a loss like this hurts, but we have a lot of heart and we have a lot of pride in our tradition, and we are going to come back very hard on Monday."

Will Harris later added: "We took it hard because we put a lot of pride and effort into this but now we just have to look forward and look forward to playing Arizona State.

"We can't keep mourning that game, we have to look ahead to Arizona State."

Carroll, who has been a master at getting his teams to bounce back from adversity, has been pleased with the response of his players this week in practice saying, "My indicators are that we'll have the guys respond and have the coaches respond. The speed of practice was up and our tempo was really good. It was one of our better Mondays."

It is often said that you learn more about yourself in defeat than in victory, so there are many lesson to be learned as the Trojans look to rebound this week against the Sun Devils.

As Carroll is fond of saying, this week will provide many ‘teachable moments.'


The Trojans look to rebound this week at Arizona State.

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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com


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