Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/5/12

The USC Trojans managed to pull off a win Thursday evening, almost despite themselves, handing Utah their third loss of the season.  While the Trojans managed to crush Utah's BCS hopes, they did nothing for themselves in the come from behind victory.

What can fans take away from the contest good, bad and ugly?

The Good: As forecasted in the "Bold Predictions" article, USC rediscovered the passing game.  Especially the USC receivers Robert Woods and Marquis Lee who combined for 271 yards and two touchdowns including a brilliant 83 yard catch and run from Lee. 

Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley, cool under pressure, ended the evening with 303 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.  Unfortunately for the Trojans, Utah also scrounged up a passing game, which had previously been mostly quiet, giving the mighty USC a scare with 209 yards and two TDs and putting the game into some question.

The Bad: The running game virtually disappeared  for both teams.  Even Silas Redd who saved the USC squad two weeks ago with his 159 yards could only manage 77 against a never-say-die Utah defense championed by monster nose-guard Star Lotulelei.  Utah's star running back John White didn't look much better against a stiff Trojans defense, gaining only 68 yards.

The Ugly: USC's first two bungled possessions resulted in fumbles which led to immediate Utah touchdowns. All within the first three minutes of the game.  If that wasn't scary enough for Trojans fans, the normally stalwart USC defense allowed two more long drives and touchdowns.  Not exactly the kind of play that inspires the BCS voters.

While the USC Trojans didn't exactly dominate a Utah squad they were slated to beat by upwards of 20 points, they at least proved that they don't give up when the chips are down.  As they get deeper into the more unforgiving part of their schedule, such gifts will be harder to come by.  Let's hope Barkley, head coach Lane Kiffin and the rest of the cardinal and gold are prepared.  



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