It would be a solid stat line -- eight catches for 104 yards -- for most players. It would be a solid stat line considering the mediocre quarterback play on display Thursday night. But for USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, his 13th career game topping the century mark was an enormous disappointment.
Lee was shut out in the first quarter at Hawaii. His first touch on offense didn't come until midway through the second. His second touch lost four yards. He lost a fumble on a punt return. He dropped a bomb that hit him right in the hands. Lee, who is always visibly frustrated when he makes a mistake, seemed especially off-kilter.
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As expertly chronicled by Jordan Conn of Grantland.com, Lee can let his temper get the best of him at times. But this was different, looking overwhelmed and lacking concentration on the field in a way that USC has not seen before.
Maybe it was the $10 million insurance policy he has taken out, maybe it was the expectations of a possible Heisman Trophy push, maybe it was the possibility of being the first receiver taken in the NFL Draft, maybe it was the uncertainty at quarterback, but Lee did not look to be focused, whatever the reason.
It wasn't until a fourth-quarter crossing route that allowed Lee to show off his elusiveness in the open field that the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner as the top receiver in college football looked like the dominant force he has been for the last two seasons. Both NFL scouts and his USC teammates will need to see that Lee again on a consistent basis going forward.