USC Morning Buzz: Good News For Offense Is Bad News For Defense

USC quarterbacks were 25 for 32 for 267 yards and three TDs in the spring scrimmage Saturday.

That’s a nice day for the offense.

But what about the defense?

Those numbers can’t make defensive coordinator Alex Grinch happy. Now one of my cautionary notes every spring is that walk-on cornerbacks end up defending first-team receivers. But it looked like a lot of the rotation cornerbacks were playing most of the scrimmage Saturday.

Mekhi Blackmon wasn’t playing but there’s a lot of work to be done with the secondary.

  • By the way I hear Loyola High School coaches were furious a couple weeks ago with USC assistant coach Donte Williams’ comments about Ceyair Wright.

“Ceyair’s biggest problem is Ceyair,” Williams said. “He has a lot of things going on. For all I know, he may be in Space Jam 3.”

Wright didn’t exactly answer back when Kyle Ford beat him on a 48-yard TD in the scrimmage.

  • For the “offensive line is much improved” crowd, USC averaged 3.4 yards per carry in the scrimmage. Travis Dye averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Austin Jones averaged 2.3 yards. Again, it’s the spring scrimmage. But the line isn’t pulling up trees.

57 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Good News For Offense Is Bad News For Defense

  1. This offense is not Graham Harrells offense which they put in the first day. This is a complex offense. It will be good from game one but the more games they have under their belt, the more they will master the offense and the harder it will be to stop. As far as the defense is concerned, I think they still need to bring in some more pieces through the portal and then we’ll see. If the D is not outstanding after 2 years they are going to need to get rid of Grinch and bring in a great DC, the kind that Clay Helton didn’t have the clout to bring in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no “great defense” in the PAC-12. The refs call penalties to shape the outcome of games so that final scores are close and TV ratings higher. Were you watching last year when Keaontay Ingram had TD runs called back?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The scrimmage was far from perfect including the refs, but it served to prove discipline has been put in place. The refs missed several pass interference calls and called a bogus targeting foul, but maybe we should get used to it. If the team is half as good as I hope it is, the only way to stop them is by penalties.
    DTR made a bold prediction yesterday. Is he all gay and no cattle? Only the trolls know for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unless the offensive line coach is a magician don’t expect anything different from last season , because there’s no substitute for talent. So let’s hope Lincoln Riley has a few tricked up his sleeves in terms of the transfer portal. If not, don’t expect anything significant from the running game this season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hudson

      Oline did alright. However, the RPO is not good for olinemen. Olinemen want to drive block and hit with authority. This rpo crap is a passive piece of offense. To stop the rpo all you have to do is get a nose tackle and push the center back a yard. I hate that offnese. Nothing but a simple counter with an option to pass thrown in.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. P. T.— Last year EVERYTHING the offense wanted to do depended on Drake London. This year EVERYTHING depends on Caleb.
        Well be fine as long as he’s healthy —but if anything happens to him……

        Liked by 3 people

      2. …which is why it’d be nice to get two more first rate tackles before the opener…
        #KeepCalebSafe..
        #…AndWe’reGoodToGo

        Liked by 2 people

      3. You’re 💯 percent correct! That’s why NFL scouts said that they have to reprogram offensive linemen coming out of college more then ever before. Too many schools are opting for the passive non physical RPO offense

        Like

    2. H.H., a ray of rah-rah FB common sense.

      Actually the rah-rah’s can use the crummy O/L play as a whiny excuse for losing games when SUCC is favored.

      Like

  4. ugh,evry thing iz rong agian john,know the hi scool couches r up set fir sum reezon,may be thay reely jussed wanna loop hole but to scaird to ax,like i wanna nuthur peese uv caik but dont wanna get yeld at by missus ed but she dont got loop holes to giv me neethur,smdh

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ed makes a lot more sense than Scottie.

      Both QBs threw a bunch of dimes. Both guys were exceptional. Passes thrown LITERALLY right to the hands of the receivers, including the 50 yarder to Kyle Ford. Lots of passes were completed in which the coverage guy was within 4 feet. Aside from the top 8 or so CBs in the NFL, every CB will look deficient if they have to play against a top QB and a top WR and the QB has time.

      The QBs had plenty of time on most occasions. OL was fine, particularly on pass protection. They also opened some holes for Dye and Jones. A handful of plays got blown up in the backfield. Missed assignments. That is why the yards per carry look bad.

      The D made a bunch of adjustments in the second half and looked really good. Having to play against Caleb Williams, Miller Moss, Travis Dye, Austin Jones, Mario Williams, Kyle Ford, Gary Bryant, et. al. every day in practice is going to make them better, and they already are looking good. No missed tackles, no over-pursuit, no lack of discipline, no “where do I go?” looks from the defenders. None of that.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. To your point about the difficulty in covering good quarterbacks
        throwing-to-good-receivers is that it may be the most difficult position aside from quarterbacking.

        The receiver knows where he is going, and a good quarterback can wedge the ball into a 4-foot small ‘”window.” And all the while, the defender has to be on guard for a “home-run” pass.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Exactly. Incredibly difficult task, and that is why several of the top-paid NFL players are CBs. As a d coordinator, you can do a lot more things and take a lot more chances if you have a lock-down corner in your defensive backfield.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. True, P. T. We have two QB’s. Hopefully at least one of them makes it through all 12 games…
      #IfSo,We’llHaveA13th&14th[RoseBowl]!

      Liked by 4 people

    3. Eddie Boy
      You might suggest to missus Ed that instead of yelling at you she might want to sit you down and give you a few spelling lessons. I’m trying to see how many words you spelled correctly in your short 3 line monologue. There “john” and “hole” and “me ” and “at” and “by” and “i” and not much else. You’re either a Ph’D who is just trying to be funny or someone who flunked out of kindergarten.

      Like

  5. I saw more right than I did wrong at the scrimmage. Db’s always need work, often get beat, especially against very good receivers. O line, simply because of the fact they have a new HC and line coach will be better as will the O system itself. There may not be the linemen coming into the portal to get and competition for them will be frantic. LR has needs and I am sure he knows what they are better than any of us.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ll make the same call now that I made last year. Tbone might even concur. MG will dispute.

    All passing leads to a lot of points and a Defense on the field too much. About in games 6-8 you start to see the D breakdown with injuries and fatigue. Second and third team D rotating in more and more. Disaster awaits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, a lot of the problems with the 2021 SC vintage was that they could not score enough points, especially against your team, ’75. So when the team has an over-abundance of 3-and-outs the defense will correspondingly be on the field too long.

      I would rather have the ‘score too many points too fast’ problem.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. John — Wayne Lusardi might be right about Pac 12 refs getting involved, for ratings reasons, in runaway games [on the side of the team getting crushed]….. which is why I like where your head is at —bomb the shit outta teams early so that the 2nd half bullshit Pac 12 officiating doesn’t matter.
        [And –let’s face it —if we score an average of 44 points a game the way Oklahoma did —nobody’s gonna beat us anyway]…

        Liked by 2 people

  7. As much as we do not wish to admit it, but the Ton-o-Hel Effect still remains:

    Many of the team’s core players were recruited and coached by him and his cronies, so that will not be absolved or resolved in one year.

    However, I was impressed with how the boys played hard and with
    SC-type confidence, which obviously has been instilled in them by a coach who knows what he is doing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s the dang spring game. Hold your horses in the gate for a while. There is always a strategy in a race. They didn’t even make it to the first turn and have at least 10 furlongs to go. Can’t analyze a race when the horses and riders are just jockeying for position. Sheesh. You are so overkill. Chill out. Tired of your diatribe.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Two possible explanations for what we saw in first half of the spring game—
        – (1) DB’s were told to play soft — let the offense feel it oats.
        or…
        – (2) Coach Riley was asked to keep Donte against his better judgement. And we saw the results on Saturday.
        -[If #2 is correct, we’ll be seeing the results for rest of the season]….

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, while agree with her about people getting both “too up” and “too down” about things WAY TOO EARLY, I’d never say “tired of reading your stuff”.

        No one forces us to read it. LOL

        Though, you never know what those Libs might try to force us to do in the future! 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ha! I sure would hate it if Obama got our beloved Scott removed for “spewing a reservoir of disinformation.” [Remark made over the weekend by our goofy ex-prez in defense of “more censorship”]…
        #MissingPremise:ObamaKnowsWhatIsTrue&WhatIsn’t..
        #Wow–EvenAbeLincolnDidn’tThinkThatAboutHimself…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Premature criticism? I used to think the same thing when Scott went after Sark, Haden, Swann, Helton, Max Browne…….
      That said, this a different deal. Lincoln knows exactly what he needs to do to win…and he’ll figure out a way of gathering all the missing pieces by our opener.
      Just say a prayer we stay healthy —cuz we’re gonna a be thin.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Obuma is thinking of running again for president. Not good if that happens and if he wins. He will make the old Soviet Union look like a free country. Do not care for that no good bum.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Scooter,

    These are my impressions from the scrimmage:

    I went to the scrimmage and for some cotton picking reason, you had to show a ticket to get in. If the game is free, why do you have to show a ticket?

    Went to find the shirts that were free and got one. Went to sit on the north side and higher than the lower bowl and we were told by security to move to the lower bowl. Before the scrimmage started, i saw people sitting in the seats that we had wanted.

    Went to go buy hot dogs, just plain simple hot dogs and the coliseum is so fu@ked up that now the stands have indidvual items. One stand will have hamburgers, another will have bbq, another will have chicken and then you have a hot dog stand. You have to go look for what you want. So i get to the hot dog stand and wanted to buy hotdogs. This is around 11:15 am. I asked for hot dogs and they said they weren’t ready. What in blue hill tarnation do you mean that they are ready? They said come back in 20 minutes. I did that and they still weren’t ready.

    Plain and simple, defense sucks. DB’s are non-existent. it seemed that evey run play was 6 yards. Miller had a very nice opening second half pass for a bomb. Both qb’s played well. I saw Ron Yary and Alan Graff and said hi to them. No one knew who they were. Alan was just sitting on cement pillar before the scrimmage and Ron was walking off the field and no one knew who he was. You see USC football history and these youngsters did not study their history of USC football. Got out of the parking lot fast.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Eating before getting there is the way to go!

        We used to tailgate, but have been very happy hitting The Lab or McKay’s before games the last couple of years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mmmmm, Claro’s. (insert Homer Simpson YUM sound here.)

        Haven’t been for over a month. You’ve got me dying for either a Spicy Mike or an Aunt Shell. Maybe I’ll get both!! And a side of my favorite, Crazy Pasta!!

        I’m going this week…no ifs, ands or buts!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I was there and closely watched every play. I think we need outside speed on defense and more pressure from the edge. Offense will not be a problem this year. I like the ball control that Moss brings. The problem with the Caleb offense is it may score too quickly. During the Carroll-Chow year when they blew out Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl the defense was on the field a lot and got nicked up. Of course there’s issues with the d-backs but speed to close holes from the Mike and Wanda positions will help everyone out. It’s a great start and there’s so much upside. Caleb Williams throws a very catchable ball and his mobility makes third and short a wide open down. I can barely wait for the season to start.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great analysis, Bryan —but all the speed in the world at linebacker won’t erase the fact receivers are still getting behind our corners. Remember what Pete said, “I don’t want our guys playing the ball –just playing back, not getting beat and hitting so hard receivers think twice about making the catch.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Plus… you are 100% right about 3rd down. With Caleb behind center, it’s gonna be a pleasure for Trojan fans and a fricking nightmare for opposing teams.
        #It’llMakeTheDiffrenceInEveryGameWePlay

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Another thing they should prepare D-Backs for, Michael, is to make an interception. I only played that position at the intramural level, but I was always looking to make the catch ahead of the receiver.

    And too often we see D-backs flubbing easy interceptions. I bet they don’t get enough practice in catching the ball. That should change.

    Boy, wouldn’t all the posters on the blog big great in our collective collaboration of coaching this team. All of us could probably fit in Wiley’s house, although there might be too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Riley would smile such a big smile at the thought of us coaching any position group, John. It would be the kind of smile Charles Bronson gave Jason Robards at the end of Once Upon a Time In the West …when he realized Robards was dying.
      btw, I think what Pete was saying was “I’d rather you not go for the interception –I’d rather you make sure you never get beat deep”]….

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ll know where we are by the second half of the Stanford game —if we’re blowing them out [which is what I suspect], we’ll be good to go all season…
      #..IFWeStayReasonablyHealthy

      Like

  12. You geniuses hate the rpo plays but that’s the new play action style. It helps keep the aaron donalds from blowing up the middle of the line. Go to a coaches clinic before you expose all of us with your stupidity.

    Like

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