JT Daniels looked like he never got hit before after Stanford got some pressure on him early. He started watching the pass rush instead of looking downfield. When he didn’t do that, he locked on to a single receiver.
Again, he is going to be a good quarterback. But no one should compare him to Sam Darnold. This is where I remind everyone the quarterbacks coach is 27-years-old and played at Western Kentucky (Bryan Ellis).
Clay Helton would rather go down with the ship playing his three-back rotation than going with a hot hand. Stephen Carr is the best tailback but he can’t get enough carries and the coaches love Aca’Cedric Ware. This is where I remind everyone the running backs coach is actually an offensive line coach (Tim Drevno).
For whatever reason, Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman are not playing like they did last season. USC’s best receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown, fell victim to the “Ocho package,” which Helton said was designed to get him the ball and resulted in two touches. This is where I remind everyone the wide receivers coach is actually an ex-quarterback (Tee Martin).
They did OK when running the ball, and for some reason, USC did not commit to running the ball. But the pass protection is often a disaster-in-the-making and causing JT Daniels to run for his life.
Did anyone see this group get any pressure on K.J. Costello? Or contain the edge?
I can’t really remember what John Houston is doing. Or most of the other linebackers. Cameron Smith’s effort is good, though the offseason hype was a bit much.
Google some of the spring practice articles that said Iman Marshall was a completely changed player. Does USC cover anyone on third-and-deep or cover anyone over the middle? The secondary is shaky, as predicted. They are just lucky Stanford had a conservative game plan.
What’s the point of alternating punters? Chris Tilbey had a good first punter than disappears but returns later. I suppose this is some clever thing from John Baxter. I thought Amon-Ra St. Brown was the punt returner and then Tyler Vaughns returned punts.
Did it ever look like USC was capable of making a comeback? Did the sideline inspire you? There was no emotion on the bench. There is no identity. No leadership. USC took its playmakers (St. Brown, Carr) out of the game with few touches.
We’ve all seen this before but now Sam Darnold isn’t around to bail everyone out.