USC Special Teams Under Microscope

Does it matter if USC has a special teams coach?

A lot was made of Sean Snyder coming from Kansas State a couple years ago but did it make a huge difference? John Baxter was a disaster, of course.

Lincoln Riley has never believed in having a special teams coach. Will it matter? It depends how competent the staff is? In the spring game, it was obvious the punting was substandard. We won’t know until the season how the kickoff/kick return, etc. perform.

It’s actually going to be important because USC should have some close games and special teams could be the difference . . . good and bad.

  • San Diego State have officially added Kenan Christon to the roster.

18 thoughts on “USC Special Teams Under Microscope

  1. I think Christon will become a star. Let us give thanks to our Femenazi male hating social conduct committees for that one. LR has done a marvelous job recruiting. You can’t help thinking that SC will be great next year the way LR has hit the road running. I like everything that he has done so far. But when it comes from the O-Line, I don’t see a big difference between him and CH. The problem with CH was the perception that O-Linemen don’t get developed under Helton. Whether that was true or not is debatable. Under Drevno they had a 1st round O-line draft choice in 2019 and 2020 and in 2021 they had Andrew Vorhees who I think will be a 1st round draft choice. But the perception was lack of developement under CH, whether true or not. But we’re not under CH anymore so I’m not sure why that perception should persist. I’m beginning to wonder whether our O-Line coach just isn’t a good recruiter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. USC isn’t currently seen as a top landing spot for o-line players. That will change after this year.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The only way top linemen will be attracted to USC is if Lincoln Riley displays physical football 🏈 this upcoming season. Top offensive linemen don’t want to pass block every down, they want to lineup and knock the snot out of the opponent

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Michael,

        Why do you say that? I have gone to being so negative that I am in the wait and see mode. Too many years of seeing SC get beat by bad teams and being coached by a bad coach. I hope you are right.
        From your comment, do you think the line will get better or worse? I see it both ways.


    2. The thing with the clay helton era is a lot of kids were drafted based purely on raw talent. Nobody developed, and the blocking schemes were idiotic; so when scouts were looking at tape evaluating our o-linemen they were judging ‘do they get off the ball quickly’ ‘do they beat their man in 1v1 most times, and do they hold their spot when double teamed’ ‘do they/can get up the field and block’ ‘do they have awareness during fumbles to recover it’ (usc linemen had a lot of experience with that during the helton era). College line coaches know they can take those skills and put that kid I’d a good scheme and with a unit they can be absolute beasts. We’re still waiting to see if that works out for any of the CH era o-line draft picks, but that’s the thinking.

      And that’s why our o-line will probably be better this year, better schemes. Not saying we’ll handle an SEC d-line, but getting smoked in round 1 of the playoffs this year isn’t out of the question.


  2. we nead a preznint like troodow who taik all the guns a way from poeples cuz thay all shot evry one and i aint got one so it aint mattur to me,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are so many people who have an opinion on how USC will perform this year, but the truth is that absolutley noone really knows for sure. It is possible that USC blows out many opponents. That offense is insanely talented, but we dont know if the o-line is just OK, or good. And the defense is a huge question mark. There is a ton of athletic talent on that field.

    The spring game didnt help us figure anything out about this team. We dont know if the defense is really good at defending the rush or if our offense has a poor rushing attack. We dont know if Caleb Williams has so many great targets that no secondary can cover them, or if the USC secondary was a mess.

    There are still a bunch of players that didnt really factor in during spring game that might be starters or at least on the depth chart – Domani Jackson, Mekhi Blackmon, Bryson Shaw, Eric Gentry, Bobby Haskins, Raleek Brown, CJ Williams, Carson Tabbarucci, Zion Branch, Jordan Addison and there are a bunch of returning players that might get enough development to take a step forward – Korey Foreman, Solomon Tulipulotu, Brandon Pili, Raesjon Davis, Julien Simon, Prophet Brown.

    Anywhere from 12-0 to 8-4 is possible. The Pac-12 has alot of teams that are really not going to be serious competition.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just now read that New Arena (whoever or whatever the fuck that is) predicts Utah will go undefeated in Pac 12 play….and USC will beat everybody but Utah…


      1. Michael,

        SC could be the top dog in league or around 4th or 5th when the season is over. By the middle of the season I think we will see what we will have.


  4. Pete Carroll never had a special teams coach and results were mixed.

    He had very strong teams overall but the special teams were always the noted weak spot. Missed FG’s cost him some games (’02 WSU, ’03 Cal OT game) while big performances helped him out in other games, too (Reggie Bush’s monster game vs. Fresno State in ’05). Not sure if Riley’s first team will have a gamebreaker on special teams like a Reggie Bush.





    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not having an official special teams coach is not a big deal. I am sure the staff can put the best team out there, all they need is someone to count heads when they take the field. A Grad assistant can do that. I think. If they can count.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …which is more than the once talented James Baxter could do during his last couple of years at USC…


  6. The running backs coach will help out on special teams. He coached at Utah special teams. The o-line will have a more complex scheme. Helton wanted a high school friendly scheme. Todd McShay used to crap on t.v. about the scheme and we know how soft the practices were.


  7. Greetings sports fans , well golden state just quit playing in the fourth quarter is green a lousey player or what change his name to mr. turnover !? they what this series to go 6 or 7 games for monetary reasons, this game was a fluke !! Regards , E


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