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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Lincoln Riley says USC’s ugly loss to rival UCLA was ‘unacceptable’

Lincoln Riley with a headset on

Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lincoln Riley during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a steep fall from grace for Lincoln Riley and the USC Trojans over the second half of the season. The USC head coach took accountability for his team’s performance Saturday after a loss to rival UCLA.

USC was outclassed in a 38-20 affair against UCLA at the L.A Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Trojans fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and never led in the contest. The loss is USC’s third in a row and fifth over their last six games.

Riley addressed the media following the one-sided affair. The 40-year-old coach blamed himself for the recent string of defeats. He relayed the same message to his players in the locker room after Saturday’s defeat.

“To not give yourself a chance, like today, it’s unacceptable. I gotta be better. … I told the guys in the locker room, ‘I’ve clearly not done a good enough job here in the second half of the season getting this team ready to go,” said Riley, via the OC Register’s Luca Evans.

Riley said that aside from disappointment, he was also feeling more motivation than he has ever felt before. He described it as a “fire in my belly” to turn things around next season.

USC started off the season 6-0 and looked like one of the best teams in college football during the first half of the year.

Riley will hope to replicate the same early-season success next year without the 1-5 second-half collapse. But it remains to be seen whether Riley will have to do it without USC quarterback Caleb Williams by his side.

The USC QB is the projected top pick of the upcoming NFL draft. Williams, however, was in no mood to clear up his plans following the loss to UCLA.

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