1.) Stop the run
Did you notice Colorado rushed for 196 yards? Notre Dame for 308? Washington for 193?
No one is talking about it. USC lost 2 of the 3 games and nearly lost all 3 games. And Oregon averages 190 yards rushing a game.
2.) Teach Kedon Slovis to avoid contact
Kedon Slovis was lucky his fumbles did not cost him the game. He also took some other hits that were worse than they needed to be. So far, Graham Harrell is not teaching him there are ways to minimize or avoid hits.
3.) Hire a traffic cop
Yes, I always mention this. The sideline is like a Manhattan intersection at rush hour. Players running on the field and off the field at the wrong times. There’s 12 men on the field and 10 men on the field. Whoever marshals the sideline needs to be fired.
4.) Thank the Pac-12 profusely
Oregon has not beaten a ranked team this season. The Ducks have not looked great in wins over Cal and Washington State. And this is the team the nation thinks is USC’s great test this season. Only in the Pac-12.
5.) Don’t pretend you are a genius
Clancy Pendergast thinks changing his coverage in the fourth quarter was the key to beating Colorado. No, the injury to Steven Montez was the fourth-quarter adjustment.
6.) Cover the middle
Teams are afraid to throw over the middle because they think passes will get intercepted. But USC always has problems covering the middle of the field.
Justin Herbert is probably the one QB who should be trusted to exploit this but I’m not convinced Oregon trusts him to do it.
7.) Protect the edge
Drake Jackson hasn’t practiced yet this week so it looks like Caleb Tremblay will start. Even if Christian Rector is back, it doesn’t mean USC is a lot better on the edge until the defense demonstrates it.
8.) Improve the return game
USC has not returned a punt or kickoff for a TD since Velus Jones did it in the first game vs. Fresno State. More importantly, when was the last time USC just had a long return?
9.) Hire an athletic director
The new athletic director needs to see the sloppiness, lack of crowd enthusiasm and amateurish nature of the program first hand. It will make a greater impression than getting hired at the end of November and being forced to decide Clay Helton‘s fate.
10.) Rediscover the tight end
Just because you like to use five wide receivers doesn’t mean to ignore the tight end. It’s an underused weapon in this offense.