After first loss, USC looks to bounce back against Oregon State
By Joey Kaufman
It was a long 45 minutes.
As USC’s buses slithered through the Palouse countryside, crossing the Washington-Idaho border and traveling from Martin Stadium to the Lewiston Airport past midnight on Sept. 29, its players and coaches were left to digest defeat.
“There was not one word that was said,” Coach Clay Helton said.
The feeling remained unusual. A full calendar year had passed since the Trojans last suffered a loss. But a 30-27 upset at Washington State ended a 13-game winning streak.
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“You forget how it is to lose,” senior outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu said. “That loss kind of hurt us.”
It was their longest winning streak since winning 34 games in a row under Pete Carroll more than a decade ago. It was also only their second loss with Sam Darnold entrenched as their starting quarterback.
When Darnold took over for Max Browne in week four of last season, USC dropped his first start at Utah, then won every game since, until journeying to Washington State.
“Every loss to me feels the same to me,” Darnold said. “It’s a terrible feeling. […]