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.