Last year was a rough one for the USC Trojans, as they went just 5-7 after 10-3 and 11-3 campaigns in 2016 and 2017. And this year also got off to a rough start. In USC’s opener against Fresno State Saturday, the Trojans’ first play wound up with a very avoidable penalty. Receiver/returner Velus Jones Jr. made some great moves on the opening kickoff return, taking it for 61 yards, but that was reduced to 19 yards thanks to an extremely avoidable penalty; one for having two players wearing #7 on the field at the same time. Here’s the initial play.
Here’s analyst Rod Gilmore comparing this to last year for the Trojans, saying “Well, if it is against USC, that’s pretty much the story of the last 12 months, something good, then a backpedal.” And here’s referee Mike McCabe saying “The ruling on the field is…is it a first down? The previous play is under review.”
Here’s that review, with Gilmore telling play-by-play voice Jason Benetti “Well, Jason, welcome to the Saturday night crew, we’re happy to have you here, and maybe you can do something to speed up games for the rest of the country?” Benetti responds “It’s Pac-12 video after dark, that’s what we have for you tonight.” They then discuss if Jones stepped out of bounds:
And here’s the actual announcement of the in-fact-much-dumber infraction, and of Benetti and Gilmore both going “Wow”: