USC did not lose to Stanford because JT Daniels struggled.
But the game was revealing when you factor in all the hype that accompanied Daniels’ arrival at USC. The first thing a writer told me when Daniels signed with USC was, “he never faced a pass rush at Mater Dei.”
So what happened Saturday? The first big hit Daniels took, he started watching the rush. His eyes would watch the defense and then go downfield. Stanford hit him several times and Daniels clearly didn’t like it.
That’s a big difference from Sam Darnold. Frankly, I doubt Darnold would have come out with a bruised hand.
Daniels does show promise. When he has time, he is very accurate. But Texas is going to try and come after him. The problem for USC is an offensive line that has yet to demonstrate it can properly protect him.
If USC truly understands its problems, it should not use more than three wide receivers because it needs more blocking for Daniels. And that’s a dilemma becuase Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman have not been better.
Another big difference from Darnold: I don’t see the same arm strength or release. Is that a huge deal? No. But it tells me these constant comparisons (some from USC) were unfair to Daniels.