USC took a 31-2 lead in the second quarter and proceeded to get outscored 28-7 the rest of the way, including 21-7 in the second half.
"It got too close there in the end," Leonard Williams said.
It appeared the team took their foot off of the gas in the second half. Sarkisian says the second half was more about Cal’s offense waking up and less about any type of let up on the part of his team.
He did acknowledge that late in games there is an issue of confidence within the team.
"We need to find a way to play with confidence late in the games," Sarkisian said. "I don’t think our guys thought the game was in the bag. Because of the season we have had, the type of game we have played, those things creep into your head."
For the fourth time this season, the team was shutout in the third quarter.