Here are the grades from the season opener:
JT Daniels is not Sam Darnold and can’t match the hype from the past nine months. But he can help USC win games especially when he throws to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
USC rotated three backs and looks like it wants to feature Aca’Cedric Ware. Is he a game-changer? No. If USC wants to beat the good teams, it better get Stephen Carr playing the way he did early last season.
Since some people want to give Tee Martin credit for the talented receivers, does he get criticized for the dropped passes by Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman? St. Brown is obviously going to be the go-to receiver for Daniels. Is Daniel Imatorbhebhe still on the team?
I kept stressing this as a weakness and it lived up to my prediction. Do you think Chuma Edoga and Chris Brown will play better as seniors? They are inconsistent. So is Andrew Voorhes. And who thinks Neil Callaway, the offensive line coach, will make anyone better?
I was told all August by some media how dominating USC’s defensive line was in practices. Then the Trojans let UNLV rush for 308 yards. And this is with Porter Gustin, who was tagged a possible All-American and high-draft pick, playing despite knee surgery. Oh boy . . .
USC announcer Pete Arbogast said linebacker Cameron Smith is a first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft. That is not going to happen if anyone remembers the 308 yards rushing. And the linebackers were also burned on that trick play for a TD.
Tough to tell what is going here with UNLV offering such an anemic passing game. I didn’t really see anything, however, that made think USC should not be concerned when it faces a two-dimensional offense.
The punting was awful at times and everyone fell asleep on UNLV’s fake punt. USC does better when individual talent is only required, like on kick and punt returns. Kicker Chase McGrath’s perfect start kept things from being really bad.
Was USC ready to play at a high level? Did the Trojans lose their sloppy look from last season? Does the playcalling look any different? Did Clay Helton demonstrate anything changed from last season and he learned from last year’s problems?