USC is 2-0 with consecutive fourth-quarter comebacks in wins over Arizona State (28-27, Nov. 7) and Arizona (34-30, last Saturday), but do the No. 20 Trojans have a problem? ESPN college football analyst
“Slovis doesn’t look good,” Pollack said on Wednesday’s episode of the CFB Podcast with Herbie, Pollack & Neghandi. “I’ve seen people talk about the (NFL) draft next year and him being a top-10 pick. I’m just telling you right now — what I’ve seen from him, not even close. The ball’s not coming out with a lot of zip. It’s really not. It’s very different. I don’t know what’s going on with him.
“But give them credit. In the last couple minutes of a game, they know how to snap it in gear, whether it’s fourth-and-nine or whether they need to score twice in a couple of minutes against Arizona, they find a way.”
Slovis completed 30 of 43 passes (69.8 percent) for 325 yards and one touchdown — a six-yard score with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter — to zero interceptions as the Trojans pulled off a four-point win at Arizona (0-1).
“There was a little wind down there, to be honest with you,” fifth-year USC head coach Clay Helton said after last Saturday’s game. “When you were going towards our locker room, there was a little bit of wind in your face. And I’ll be honest with you — on a really dry day, that ball can get slick on you a little bit. And I think a couple slipped out of his hands.
“He found ways to execute down the stretch. And I’ve always said, ‘Winners win.’ And he’s a winner, and he found a way to win and execute when it mattered the most. So that’s what good quarterbacks do and he’s done it two weeks in a row. Thank goodness for him.”
While unable to pinpoint a specific issue, Slovis reiterated the arm was healthy.
“Yeah, my throwing arm’s fine,” Slovis said last Saturday. “My arm feels fine. I think, at times, my mechanics get sloppy. I don’t know if, like coach is saying, dryness or maybe it’s the ball is — I don’t know what it is, but I’ll get it fixed next week. We have a lot of time to get it fixed and, yeah, my arm feels great. So I just need to get it fixed, mechanically.”
Completing 70 of 98 passes (71.4 percent) for 706 yards and three touchdowns to one interceptions through two games, Slovis leads the Trojans into a 10:30 p.m. ET game Saturday at Utah (0-0).
“Kedon is always focused,” said fifth-year senior running back Vavae Malepeai, who scored on an eight-yard touchdown run doubled as the game-winning play with 25 seconds left, said last Saturday. “There’s not a time where we doubted him. He’s in the game for a reason, and that’s to get the job done, and I feel like he knows he has a great support (system) around him — not only from the whole team but in his own unit as well, the people behind him.
“And at the end of the day, he’s always focused. His confidence is never wavering. And when you see a QB can really get things together, get the job done when it’s most needed, why wouldn’t you want to play behind him, support him and play around him? He did a great job today. And people are going to say what they’re going to say, but at the end of the day, he got the job done.”