Louisville Gets Outgunned by USC in Holiday Bowl, 42-28

Louisville falls again
Dec 27, 2023; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans running back Austin Jones (6) runs the ball defended
Dec 27, 2023; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans running back Austin Jones (6) runs the ball defended / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville Cardinals fell to the USC Trojans last night, and it was the worst performance from the team all season.

The way the game started, you would have thought that Louisville would run away with the game. The Cardinals stopped the Trojans for a 3 and out and then scored a touchdown to go up 7-0. That would be the end of good things for Louisville as the Trojans would outscore Louisville 28-7 for the rest of the first half. The second half was back and forth, but everytime the Cardinals would cut the lead down, USC would go right down the field and score again.

USC would end up beating Louisville 42-28, and QB Miller Moss was undoubtedly the star of the game. Moss threw a Holiday Bowl-record 6 touchdowns while going 23/33 for 372 yards and one interception. Moss was 3rd on USC's depth chart, but that did not show at all against the Cardinal defense. While Moss is a very talented player, there is no reason for the Louisville defense to get tossed around like this against a 7-5 PAC-12 team.

The odd part about the game was that Louisville did not seem to be locked in against the Trojans, and the defense was looking like it was straight out of the Scott Satterfield era. The most points Louisville has allowed all season was 31 against Kentucky and Miami. The fact that USC was able to score 42 points is very disappointing, and ultimately a confusing ending for this Louisville defense.

Louisville looked outmatched defensively, and their inability to throw the ball was evident in losing this football game. After a 10-1 start to the season, losing three straight games is very disappointing. However, Louisville is in good hands with Jeff Brohm, and fans shouldn't dwell on this loss too much considering what Brohm and his staff have been able to do this season.

Hopefully Louisville will have better luck against the Pac-12 teams joining the ACC in 2024.