USC Monday Buzz: What Will Defense Become?

What is an Alex Grinch defense like? The new USC defensive coordinator was asked this Monday night by former USC defensive tackle Shaun Cody.

“The calling card has been effort and speed,” Grinch said.

“If an individual gives us their max effort and then plays at max speed, they’re going to have success from an individual standpoint and obviously the behaviors, the sum total becomes a successful defense.

“When we’ve gotten it right, we’ve been just that. When we’ve gotten it wrong, we’ve had some tough Saturdays.”

An easy question is whether Pac-12 offenses will create more or less tough Saturdays than Big 12 offenses?

Here’s some stats: The Pac-12 was 0-3 vs. the Big 12 last season (Oklahoma beat Oregon; TCU defeated Cal and Kansas State beat Stanford).

The Pac-12 is 1-8 vs. the Big 12 since 2018. And 2-13 in the past 15 games.

Is it any wonder Lincoln Riley wanted to coach here?

Note: USC’s had little interaction with the Big 12, splitting games with Texas in 2017-18. Those were the Trojans’ first games with the Big 12 since a home-and-home series with Nebraska in 2006-07 (USC won both games).

32 thoughts on “USC Monday Buzz: What Will Defense Become?

  1. it does not matter what Pac12 does,period…it only matters what SC does vs anybody, and everybody;
    the defense will be fine if last years walking wounded practice under these ‘real’ football coaching staff,’cause they know how to develop talent which is there.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I keep thinking that if you simply take last years defense, apply a new culture and a group of top line coaches to it, it has to come out better than what we had last year. Not championship caliber perhaps, but better in many ways.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “USC Monday Buzz: What Will Defense Become?”

      With ‘Ol Mule Shoe obviously not understanding the importance of interior linemen, the Trojans defensive line is set to become just like the offensive line…another turnstile.

      And then you have this genius, USC Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch, saying stupid sh*t like this, ““When we’ve gotten it right, we’ve been just that. When we’ve gotten it wrong, we’ve had some tough Saturdays.”

      It’s as if Grinch is channeling Clay Helton, all we need to hear him say now is that he needs to watch and review tape.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He can’t say it yet, tebow…
        [Personally, I’d like it if he said, “When the offense is on fire, everything is right. When the team needs defense we’re in for some tough Saturdays”…]


      2. “The calling card has been effort and speed,” Grinch said.

        Maybe this clown Alex Grinch does need to go watch and review tape, he’ll find out that the Trojans can’t tackle worth a sh*t.


  2. Effort and speed?
    We had that from our last two defensive coordinators. It generated over pursuers and grandstand posing after routine tackles.
    Try something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grinch will insist on 100% effort –and he’ll probably get it. So this year will automatically be better than last. But, to be honest, he isn’t “The Guy.” Nothing he’s said yet makes it sound like he has the kind of solid, hardcore defensive philosophy the best defensive coaches have [think Dave Aranda]—just an emphasis on speed and effort.


      1. Hello Michael. Thanks for last night. You were magnificent !! I was just talking tongue- in-cheek so to speak. Just trying to get a rise out of you. So- to- speak. And then suddenly things exploded. Let’s do it again. ( Rachel McAdams— The Notebook ). PS. I’m hiding this post of course. But it is as of today. Somewhere hidden on todays blog I know you’ll find me


  3. What you saw at Oklahoma the last five seasons you’ll see at USC , weak defenses, and high scoring games. How many points did Steve Sarkisian’s Texas team score against the Sooners ? That kinda of football philosophy may get you to the playoffs, but you definitely won’t advance, just ask Lincoln Riley.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ugh,gotta do the math to to play the defence,probaly wye thare aint no girls on the defence teem,all ways spendin munney but nevr thinkin how much thay got left cuz thay aint good at the math,smdh

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, that sure was fun yesterday dissecting Will Smith.

    But it took up much of my day to the detriment of work

    Time to take some time off. But see y’all soon!

    John F. Wolcott

    Liked by 2 people

      1. “I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.”

        – Peter Gibbons, “Office Space”

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Here is what Urban Meyer said about Alex Grinch when he hired him to be a coordinator at Ohio State:

    “I started studying Alex back in the summertime, and then what he did at Washington State, I think was outstanding. I really studied him throughout the year. I checked their scores all the time, I checked they’re statistics, I’ve been watching film on him. Then on top of that, he’s an Ohio guy that wanted to be here. The minute we offered him the job, he had a handful of job offers right on top of it. Obviously he picked the right one.”

    Grinch’s performance in turning a traditionally defensively-indifferent Washington State program into one that became very productive defensively impressed Meyer. The Cougar defense hadn’t held opponents under 30 points per game since the 2006 season, and yet upon Grinch’s arrival in 2015, Washington State was able to hold opponents under 30 points per game in each of his three seasons. He also helped to triple the number of turnovers forced per season from the year before he arrived.

    The season before he arrived, Washington State had the No. 97 defense in the nation. They finished with the No. 16 defense this past season. They were No. 7 in pass efficiency defense, No. 9 in turnovers forced (28), and No. 5 in fewest touchdown passes allowed (11).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Thanks for that, 67. I’d completely forgotten about Grinch’s pre Oklahoma success. Nice to be reminded!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael, the OU defense obviously struggled, but his 2019 defense at Oklahoma gave up just 357 yards per game. Riley likes to run the ball more than other top teams (about 50-50), so that should help as well in terms of not having the defense on the field every other minute, which is what happened with Graham Harrell’s offense.

        2019 is when they had Jalen Hurts at QB, so having a top QB who is savvy can make a big difference, and that should be Caleb this year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Re Caleb: My sentiments exactly, 67. [Ed will get mad and everybody else will poke fun at me for re-re-re-stating the obvious…but….we really DO have some “loopholes” that need plugging on the O-Line —we need to start and finish the year with Caleb at 100% to have a chance at the playoffs]….

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Grinch really has his work cut out for him. When you look at players like Julien Simon and Raesjon Davis, who were supposed to be top talent but didnt progress at all last year, you have to wonder how there could have been such a lack of development.

    I can see quite a bit more transfer portal activity for USC on the defensive side of the ball. The offensive side still needs tight ends, QB depth, and we will cherry pick a few receivers and offensive line players if we can get them too.

    I think the returning players dont realize how lucky they are to have Riley. His new culture, “Perform or Get Out”, is actually helping them to maximize their potential. Maybe a few guys whose football careers would end after college will end up in the NFL due to Riley. That is worth millions of dollars and a pretty big upgrade in their life path.

    Whatever happens this next year, the team is on the right path and that just feels good.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am not expecting much from the defense next year. They only had two competent players last year – Tuli and the freshman safety from Muir, Bullock. They were crushed by Oregon State. Oregon State! Enough said. The fact that Reilly is essentially bringing in a whole new defensive squad via the transfer portal shows just how bad the talent was allowed to fall under Helton. It is hard to blame the coaches if players are undersized, slow and lack instinctiveness and that was the case last year. So we start from scratch with a new group. It will take some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Spot-On bro! This current coaching staff will definitely bolster and develop SC offensively and defensively! No doubt about it! 😜


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