USC Notes: Here Comes Rice

Rice is not going to beat USC tomorrow but can its offense test the Trojans’ defense?

QB Wiley Green is in his fifth year at Rice but this will be his first season as the starter. Last season, he was 36-55 for 414 yards with four TDs and three interceptions.

Rice reciver Cedric Patterson III caught 38 passes for 583 yards and six TDs.

The USC secondary has some inexperienced players so we’ll see how often Rice takes advantage. And let’s see how much Alex Grinch blitzes if Rice does move the ball.

Rice safety Gabe Taylor is the younger brother of Miami Hurricanes/Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.

If you want to see how important the transfer portal was for USC, here are the returning stat leaders from last season. And none will start tomorrow.


RUSHING: Darwin Barlow
62 ATT, 289 YDS, 2 TDS, 4.7 YPC, 26.3 YPG
PASSING: Miller Moss
8 CMP, 13 ATT, 74 YDS, 1 TD/0 INTS, 37.0 YPG
RECEIVING: Tahj Washington
54 REC, 602 YDS, 1 TD, 11.2 YPC, 50.2 YPG
TACKLES: Ralen Goforth
62 TKLS; 1.0 TFL; 1 FF; 1 FR


The last time Rice played USC at the Coliseum was 1948. The Trojans won, 7-0, with an incredible goal-line stand that saw Rice run five plays near the goal-line and stopped at the 1-yard line.

Don Doll’s 28-yard TD run was the only score of the game.

Don Doll punts from his end zone vs. Rice

USC card stunt at 1948 Rice game

46 thoughts on “USC Notes: Here Comes Rice

    1. Check out the WSJ ranking of top Universities.
      USC ranks #19–based primarily on the success of its graduates in their first ten years out.

      USNWR rankings are likely “a little more subjective.”


      1. All listings are ‘subjective’. I’d say we all look for that confirm what we want to see…I know I do. USN&WR lists is what saved the publication from oblivion some 40+ years ago. USC rose like a rocket under Steven Sample a true leader. What he did was truly incredible – without him we’d still be rocking down in the low 50’s.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. …Late President James Zumberge deserves a lot of credit for raising the bar, but Sample was indeed the driving force for producing the academic excellence now seen at USC.


    1. Yeah this might save the Pac-12 and Big12 from further hemorrhaging…consider a weakened conference w.o. USC/UCLA maybe OR and WA book too. Well now that gives whatever squad squeaks through a season and a CCG a berth in this new format if they hold to what was proposed previously a 12 team deal. All Big 5 CC plus 1 from the other lower 5 conferences and 6 at-large slots.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. …..and poor George Tirebiter had to sit through that 1948 USC-Rice
    7 to 0 thriller! Must have been somewhat boring with the exception of the game saving goal-line stand?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I would give Grinch 3 years at the max to really turn this defense around. You can’t win NC’s with just an offense. Chip Kelly tried that at Oregon and at UCLA. It hasn’t worked for him and it won’t work for LR. At SC he has the drawing power (that CH never had) to bring in a really great DC and great defensive players. You can’t stick with Grinch forever if he is coming up each year with mediocre defenses. If he can’t produce a really great defense in 3 years, it’s time to move on. And if his defenses are consistently bad after 2 years I’d look elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Maybe’ Chip Kelly didn’t have the ‘drawing power’ @ OR and Ucla but that doesn’t wash per his ineptitude with both gigs with the NFL PHI and SFO. Kelly seems to have been blessed with great assistants while at OR – his retaining that doppleganger of ‘Mickey Hatcher’ (Scoscia) ‘Jerry Azzinaro’. Solid skilled staff wins you games not buddies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just don’t think Kelly cares about defense and he hates recruiting. He’s got to be one of the worst recruiters in college football.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Grinch had several OU Sooner defenders drafted in April.
      Indeed, I think there were more defenders drafted early in 2022 than there were offensive players.

      He’s a strong DC–not elite, but strong. Probably top 20 DC’s in CFB.
      After the Venables and Arandas and Don Browns (oldish), there are not many great DC’s.

      I recall Grinch dialing up a stout defense versus Darnold and Rojo in the Pallouse on a Friday night in 2017. Ended Darnold’s dream of a Natty chance.*

      Morgan Scalley at U Utah is considered top-notch but got himself into troubles with a racial text. Likely the heir to Whittingham anyway.
      Jim Leonhard at U Wisky is also pretty strong. Likely the heir to Paul Chryst anyway.

      *admittedly, Grinch was coaching against a Clay Helton coached team, so maybe he’s not so great?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. If he’s really that good, he’ll get results. If he doesn’t get results, it’s time to move on. CH stuck with Pendergrast because CH had no drawing power to get somebody really great. LR has no such obstacles.


    3. Grinch had some good defenses at Washington St. particularly given the talent level of WSU. He was so impressive that Urban Meyer lured him to OSU. With the transfer portal and NIL, I think we can be a very good defense in two years. Hopefully, we will be a vastly improved one this year but I am not expecting a stout defense. We need some more depth on the defensive line.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. We need the kind of depth Ohio State and Alabama and Georgia have where they have 4 stars on the 3rd string. This is football not badmitton. Sometimes you end up getting down to the 3rd string.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right now we have 3 or 4 deep on the DL. Tuli will be moving around to different slots. One thing we do have going for us is this year the players are better conditioned, although with over 100 degrees on the field everyone is going to have to rotate . Cramps will be an issue for sure. I would imagine we will see how our depth works out and how good the #2 and #3 guys are. I worry more about the depth at LB, if Lee goes down who steps in? Same for Gentry who should be something to watch with his height.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Gordon Adams.
      Rick Neuheisel.

      But, yes, I agree that taking 5 years to work your way up the depth chart on one of C-USA’s worst programs is not a confidence builder.


    2. Steveg
      I like everything LR is doing. I even like the way he is recruiting. He’s slowly bringing in the right recruits. We still have a 4 star and two 5 stars that we have a really good chance of getting. If we can get those guys, we’ll probably finish in the top 10 recruiting.
      But we are far from the kind of depth that Bama, OSU and Georgia have. That’s why it might take take 3 years to get to the playoffs but LR is doing all the right things. Another factor is, do you develope players. PC used to develope players. CH didn’t. Tuli’s brother was one of the best players in the country coming out of high school as was Jay Tufele as was all of those O-Linemen(Viani, Toa, Damian Mama). Where are they now? Let’s see if this staff will develope players. But so far I am encouraged.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pete Carrol made it a practice to go after inexperienced QB early before they gained any confidence. Throw some blitzes at him, drop back 8, give them some unusual looks and see if they can handle it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am anxious to see the conversation on here tomorrow night after the game. I am sure there will be those still doubtful and there will be the rah rahs like me. At least I admit it. I have high expectations which I have not had in years, let me enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The steps that SC has taken are the right steps. I’m encouraged. I’m just saying that they can’t just settle for a 9-3 season every year. I don’t think LR will do that. I don’t think that he just wants to win conference championships. He was doing that at Oklahoma. I think that he came to SC to win national championships.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Grinch is average at best.

    When this guy Grinch tanks, and he will, ‘Ol Mule Shoe would be smart to reach out to Kris Richard and offer him the defensive coordinator position.

    USC should win Saturday by the score of 52-17. If it’s any closer than that then it should be cause for concern.


    1. His results at WA and OK seem to speak differently. It is obvious you are not a Riley fan so anything he likes you have to doubt. Most people on here feel the opposite, which isn’t unusual when you are concerned. We shall see what they put out there tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. usc play one of weakest programs in college football in rice,and dumb fanboys say Trojans are back if Dey win..😂 me n missus wish sc play Georgia , Ohio state or Alabama then peenus breth steveg49 can shut da fuck up about usc being back ..smdh


  6. If I were a Rice Owl footballer reading some of the Trojans’ ranting-and-raving about how big, bad SC is going to have Rice for supper tomorrow, then I would come to the game to try to prove SC wrong, and would be prepared to fight them like a dog.

    “Let sleeping dogs lie”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prior to 2020, I had a hard time getting to sleep the night before the first home game. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve who couldn’t wait to wake up and open his presents.

      But I’m not feeling as pumped up as Cowherd obviously is. I do like his enthusiasm.


      Liked by 4 people

      1. From 2010 until last year USC had the Three Stooges coaching the team.

        How could anyone get fired up with anticipation waiting to see those three clowns waste talent?


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too, So Cal, but part of the problem is that Rice is not Stanford, or even Washington St or Arizona– they’re worse. So it is hard to get up for such a weak opponent.

        — Now, Stanford will be the test of whether we are back to our hey-days of Trojan-day excitement


  7. USC will beat Rice with big chunks plays with the staple bubble screens for all WR, to let them all touch the rock. I expect Bryant to lead the WR yds per catch average. He will be one on one streaking down the sidelines while Addision William’s work the middle. I will excited to see Releek play the whole 4 quarter. I expect 2 big plays a game. Playoffs will consist of 3 Big 3 SEC teams 1 ACC 1 Big 12 1 PAC and ND so that leaves 2 at large berth for Cinninati Louisville teams like that. Oregon will stay in the PAC so they will be guaranteed a spot in playoffs every other year.


  8. How can anyone predict the performance or spread, let alone the score of the Rice/SC matchup? Rice has added 41 new players including eight grad transfers and eight undergrad transfers. Who knows what kind of team they will put on the field? But same with SC with many transfers starting. Wait and see and there is a likelihood that one of these teams will play better in the second half or 4th quarter. One example is 5’5″ Cameron Montgomery who runs a 4.4 forty. The left side of the OL is all 300+ pounders. Who knows?


    1. Hey waynelusvardi you can predict some scores. Based the talent level both teams you don’t have to be a rocket scientist for this game. Just based on the offensive talent we should score over 45 points. If the defense is energized and focused they should give up less than two tds. Hopefully my prediction will be close.


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