USC Sunday Buzz: Let’s Analyze The UNLV Game

I wanted to wait a day before posting too many thoughts on the first game.

It’s hard to get around the fact USC’s defense allowed 308 yards rushing.

Go back and read some of the practice reports on the Internet from August. The praise for the defense. The talk of the defensive line dominating the offensive line. The usual puffery concerning the linebackers.

I remember USC announcer Pete Arbogast telling a Cleveland Browns radio show how the defense was the best since 2008. He said after the game yesterday Cameron Smith was going to be a first-round draft pick.

There is a complete disconnect from many who write or talk about USC and actual performance. The defense was Ground Zero for this yesterday.

Fortunately for USC, UNLV’s weak passing game did not expose the secondary too much.

Now, special teams. Was USC ready for the fake punt? No. But it was a first game. Can USC punt the ball? Reid Budrovich averaged 28.8 yards. This always rankles more when you consider the praise Clay Helton heaps on special teams coach John Baxter.

The offensive line lived up to my concerns. Did you see the first short-yardage opportunity? It looked just like last season. The pass protection was also spotty.

JT Daniels was solid. I wonder why he seemed so locked in on Tyler Vaughns at the start of the game. Was that Tee Martin’s playcalling or did he not go through any progressions? There were too many dropped passes but maybe it’s first-game jitters. The receiving corps is going to have to improve otherwise Daniels will only want to throw to Amon-Ra St. Brown.

The key is where USC goes from here?

Last year, when USC struggled with Western Michigan, it was believed by many the Trojans were simply in first-game mode and would shake off the problems. But USC ended up playing sloppy the whole season.

My concern is this is just the identity of Helton teams. A basic level of underachievement or sloppiness that prevents even dominating weaker teams. And then gets blown out by Alabama, Ohio State or good Notre Dame teams.

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40 thoughts on “USC Sunday Buzz: Let’s Analyze The UNLV Game

  1. Receivers without sainted names have to step up next Saturday. J. T. may WANT to only throw to Amon (what qb wouldn’t?)—but, after yesterday, teams are gonna make that tough to do.
    #MichaelPittmanAreYouListening?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Vaughn’s seems to think he’s owed the lion’s share, I saw his post game interview and didn’t like what I saw….he gave off signs off discontent…..Pittman may be of the same yoke…not sure, but the team can’t affors to catch a case……no prima donnas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trevon had a couple yesterday too, if I’m not mistaken. JT should watch film and see who he missed that were running completely uncovered. All in all, not a bad first outing and the return game (both punt and kickoff) was far better than last year.
        Next week we’ll have a better idea of where we are.

        Except for that stupid, homophobic, racist troll. He’s just clueless.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought Velus played well. They dubbed him special teams player of the week when he made 2 blocks on one play for Carr on his big run back….there’s a guy who can catch out of the backfield with the best of them, Stephen Carr…..I gotta feeling our coordination on both sides didn’t over expose themselves because they know the eggheads were scouting us.

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    2. Any DC with a brain would double St Whomever and force Daniels to throw to another WR. If the WR’s can’t separate any better than they did yesterday from DB’s at a glorified JC, how can they against good DB ‘s?

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      1. I don’t like a defensive scheme that always has its outside defensive linemen standing up all the time….if they are not of superior strength, the opposing offensive tackles can gain too much leverage on them because standing defensemen provide a larger target to maneuver…with all these down linemen we have, I prefer to see a fearsome foursome look….Echols was leveraged and the safeties were susceptible to misdirection which resulted in 70 + yards and a Td to a very good back with 4.3 speed….Lex from Vegas…he ran for 136 yards, 1/2 on one play….it’s why I lament our safety position so much because we need to keep things in front of us if someone up front gets worked.

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      2. Tighten up the splits with a 4 man down defensive line and force them to the outside which buys time for us to get there from a three man linebacker core or a good secondary who don’t have monstrous offensive tackles on them from the snap all the time. Getting gashed between our defensive tackles is deflating and risky.

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    3. Trevon had a couple yesterday too, if I’m not mistaken. JT should watch film and see who he missed that were running completely uncovered. All in all, not a bad first outing and the return game (both punt and kickoff) was far better than last year.
      Next week we’ll have a better idea of where we are.

      Except for that stupid, homophobic, racist troll. He’s just clueless.

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    4. Micheal, when McGiggles answers his own posts does he believe he’s conversing with another poster, or does he realize he’s talking to himself. In these debates he has, does he ever win? Doesn’t seem like it. My goodness, I’m hoping that clay and Clancy get all the emails I’ve sent them with screenshots of McGiggles comments.
      It’s better than a Xanax.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No wonder nothing gets through to you, joints, Xanax, Catholic Fallout, Tee bashing……..you’re way too high……fix it for your own good….if He is for me, then who are you or anyone else to be against me…..stop poisoning Michael, he’s still got a chance because he’s not too far gone yet….🤡 lol…resembled..

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      2. Pudly —How can I dump on Stephen? He’s given me a chance at getting by Saint Peter (BTW — ever seen the very clever “This Is The End” with Seth Rogan?—every single poster on this blog is represented by somebody in that movie)…..

        Liked by 1 person

    5. USC may have put up 43 but that was as ugly a win as I’ve seen. Receivers aren’t the only ones who have to step up.

      But the opposing team can come out and play to win, too.

      #Itwas19-14AtTheStartofthe4thQuarterSoMyPredictionWasn’tSoBad

      #JohnMcKayOnceSaid’TheOtherTeamHasPlayersAndCoaches,Too”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Marvienna, McKay was big on wearing them down and breaking their will in the fourth quarter. Magic Johnson used to call it winning time. I’ll wait till this weekend in Palo Alto before I pass harsher judgement. That’s just me. To each their own.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Marvienna —I’ll admit that when it was 19-14 I was thinking, “I’ll never hear the fricking end of this if this score holds….”
        #…ThankYou,J.T.&Amon

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Gomer’s teams will always play sloppy football, it’s because he’s a soft coach.

    He’ll never change his football philosophy of pass first, he’ll never upgrade his staff, he is what he is, a coach in over his head at a major football school.

    And for shit’s sake, get off the let’s make Daniels a star crap and run Carr 20+ times a game, too bad Carr isn’t a QB, he might get the ball more. Or maybe Gomer doesn’t think his OL can run block, it’s anyone’s guess.

    Compare SC to Bama, Georgia, Clemson, Ohio St, hell even ND, they aren’t close to being in their league with this bunch coaching them.

    SC will stumble, fart and fall down the whole season, 5 losses aren’t out of the picture even in the horrid PAC 12 which right now is no better than the Mountain West Conference.

    And ucla is paying Chipper $27 million for that ? Now that’s funny

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it is good stuff, Pudly. This is going to be long year for our friends in Westwood….
        #…Um,MakeThatALong5Years
        P.S.
        Remember that scene in The Godfather when Tom shows up and tells the guy in federal custody that sometimes it’s more honorable to just take a warm bath and get out the razor blade…..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pudly —Yeah, Herman will try to convince his team that it’s USC’s fault —not his—that they got their asses kicked by Maryland (and they’ll believe him). [Are you getting as sick as I am of coaches who fuck up their seasons needing a win over USC to “redeem” them]?
        #It’sAUCLASpecialty

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We need Bobblehead Ed to keep all this stuff straight. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out if we won or lost with all the crying being done by some.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Pudly —A lot of the public unhappiness sessions will be officially over when we kick some ass next Saturday.
        [I have a suspicion that Ed is back—in the form of McGhagy].
        #They’reBothInterestingInNovelWays

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Pudly —Stanford opens as a 4 to 5 point favorite (3 points for being able to find Stanford Stadium when they wake up on Saturday, 2 points for holding on to Bryce Love for an extra year)……

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Five point dogs on the road. Well we’ll just have to do what we did in the CCG last December and show them it was no fluke. Three in a row vs Shaw would help give this young group some confidence going to Austin the following week.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Agreed, Pudly! [And —I know you don’t want to hear this but—-if we beat Stanford, we’re in very good shape no matter what happens in Texas]…..
        #…ButJustTheSameIHopeWeKickHerman’sButtToo

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  3. Observations:

    USC had a conservative game plan to start for JT and UNLV schemed for it. Once they opened up the play book the team started to make the plays

    SD State schemed for Bryce Love and kept him to a minimum impact forcing Stanford to throw which they did effectively. Arizona (Sumlin) lost to BYU. Texas (Herman) lost to Maryland

    I think dline and oline overated and reputation comes from practice. If oline is weak dline will look strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If I were looking for an excuse or explanation for yesterday, I’d wonder if the loss of key players might have proved to be a problem. However I really don’t care for excuses. I would rather look at the positive without apology for being a USC fan. 43points is a nice score for a first game Our quarterback is going to be great. Stopping one receiver opens up others, who were fractions of seconds off in catching. Knowing that they can catch means that aspect of our offense will improve. One false start and two sacks is not as bad as it seems.
    I believe USC is going to ready for the farm next Saturday. The coaches just need to prepare the team better.

    Liked by 2 people

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