LOS ANGELES -- In the first Pac-12 game in history, USC played USC on Saturday night. The Trojans had the Trojans on the ropes, repeatedly stopping drives, forcing punts and keeping the game close to the end. As with last week, USC was better in the first half, but USC came back in the second half and took it to USC, almost defeating the Trojans. Make sense?
Despite making for an exciting game and providing an ending that Lane Kiffin and his coaches believe can unite the team, this season will not be a success if USC can't find a way to get out if its own way.
I don't mean to belittle Utah, which proved it will compete in the conference and clearly was not intimidated. The Utes overcame some of their own errors and made some timely plays to push the game to the final seconds. But let's be clear: The toughest opponent USC faced Saturday was USC.