Is This USC’s Best Defense In 10 Years?

That radio interview with Pete Arbogast is really the gift that keeps on giving. If Arbogast didn’t say Cody Kessler threw a better deep ball than Sam Darnold, his comments about the defense would have been the highlight:

“It’s the best defense we’ve had since the days of (Rey) Maualuga and (Brian) Cushing and those guys,” Arbogast said. “There’s some beasts out there. The defensive team is going to keep the offense in the game. SC’s going to be in a lot of games because their defense is not going to allow very much to happen.”
Where to begin? The defense is not going to allow much in the Pac-12? Last time I checked, Iman Marshall, Jack Jones and Ajene Harris are returning at cornerback.
Cameron Smith is a solid linebacker but not a Maualuga or Cushing. John Houston got better as the season progressed but was never great. Uchenna Nwosu is gone. Everyone is raving about Porter Gustin right now. But he has yet to do it over a 12-game schedule. Spring practice doesn’t count.
There are some promising young tackles who should be better (Marlon Tuipulotu, Brandon Pili, Jay Tufele).
But none of this adds up to the 2008 defense. Or even close to it. Remember the linebackers: Maualuga, Cushing, Clay Matthews, Kaluka Maiava, Michael Morgan.
OK, Arbogast did say it was the “best since,” not as good. But to even mention in the same breath? Not at this time.

7 thoughts on “Is This USC’s Best Defense In 10 Years?

    1. I think maybe you’re right, steveg —-but I’m suspending judgement til we get past game 2 (Stanford)……


  1. Lost three good linemen in Green, Fatu, and Nwosu plus Hawkins in the secondary. All were leaders on the field of play. No question looking great in Spring practice, but who are they up against. No QB, Carr out at TB, Toa
    not under center.. Pendergast has a way of over coaching and getting caught in a defense that gives up big yardage. Look what happened at the Rose Bowl vs. Penn St., 49 pts. although one TD was on Sam.


    1. Any defense that can penetrate our illustrious O-line and stop future All Americans like Fink and Sears is #1 in my book…..


  2. I think you’re getting lost in a very simple sentence. If you say “thing A” is the best since “Thing B”, you’re not saying Thing A is better or even as good as Thing B. You’re saying that there hasn’t been a better defense in the intervening years compared to Thing A. I know you know that, Scottie, but this was a good chance for you to get your cackles up. And I appreciate the fun.


  3. Pete Arbogasssssed doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Never has. Anyone who listens to single thing that blowhard has to say is equally full of crap.


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