Sunday Buzz: Is USC Back?

A lot of people seem to think so after USC’s 66-14 victory over Rice.

“It’s definitely a statement. That’s what we wanted to do,” wide receiver Jordan Addison said. “Week 1 we had to show everybody that this wasn’t just no hype. We ready to play.”

Well, yes and no.

Let’s keep it real. You can read breathless recaps elsewhere.

I guarantee you the USC coaches watching film today will feel differently than most fans. Especially on defense. The defensive line had only one player (De’Jon Benton) among the top 10 Trojans in tackles (Benton with five).

The secondary was definitely a work in progress. Rice lost its starting QB (Wiley Green) and tailback (Cameron Montgomery) to injury by halftime. Montgomery rushed for 99 yards in two quarters. The Owls’ best receiver (Cedric Patterson) didn’t even suit up.

Rice wasn’t very good but was giving USC problems.

So it’s a little early to start making bold statements. The defensive coaches will be worried about the way the corners played Saturday against meager opposition.

The saving grace is USC will be able to score points at will. Caleb Williams presents a lot of problems with his feet, not just his arm. His importance cannot be understated.

I haven’t really mentioned the offensive line because I think Williams made everything easy for the offense Saturday. I will say this: Andrew Vorhees was a preseason All-American but had two holding penalties vs. Rice.

All the USC linemen are going to have great Pro Football Focus stats because Williams won’t let himself get sacked. So it will mask the offensive line’s actual performance.

I joked in the offseson USC could be in 62-61 games. It’s still possible.

The question is who in the pitiful Pac-12 will challenge USC? Anyone? Anyone? Utah? Oregon? Washington?

113 thoughts on “Sunday Buzz: Is USC Back?

      1. Yes john, I heard announcers say “enny reezin usc didnt run menny punt playz,is becuz that thay not wuntin to sho thare nexxed oponint”. So I say same thing on blog so I sound smart….smdh

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t make sense, Ed. They had umpteen opportunities to punt when they kept getting within 3 yards of Rice’s goal line. They could have surprised the living shit outta the Rice coaches —but all they ever did was score TD’s….

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Ed is speaking a particularly rare dialect of Aramaic that developed in Northwestern Assyria. Talmud scholars thought it disappeared around 1600.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Nice, 67. I guess you’re referring to the fact many of the “Real life as a Fairy Tale” concepts incorporated into Don Quixote were recently discovered on the walls of an ancient Arabic cave…. although it’s been said scholars haven’t been able to decipher everything yet…it’s growing more & more obvious that Ed has completed their translation and is sharing them on InsideUSC….
        #CrazyLikeAFox

        Liked by 1 person

      3. i wsh I not sound like a dumb fuk, but I can’t spell 2 good . missus say I shld go enroll in 1st grade class n I think I wil . I go back n play wit mi peenus now.. see u guys later 👋🏼

        Like

    2. ‘Ol Mule Shoe is delusional. 3 lucky pick 6 INT’s and he’s trying to sugar coat just how bad USC’s defensive line really is.

      This was Rice, a crap team and their run game in the first half was having their way with Tuli Tuilupoopoo and the rest of those girls on the Trojan D Line.

      Kourtney Foreman is who I knew she was all along, overrated and a monumental bust! That girl should be ashamed of herself, hang ’em up and stop embarrassing herself. Time to take up a different sport Kourtney, football isn’t for you. Maybe she can knit some hats and sell them outside the Coliseum on gameday because that girl getting tossed all over the field has no business being inside the Coliseum, let alone on the football field.

      Listen to ‘Ol Mule Shoe, he’s completely delusional

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      1. I watched the Riley interview – twice he said “we have a ton of things to correct.”
        #Delusional?
        #HasTheWord’sDefinitionChanged?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. ERIC AND CHARLES
      YEP THATS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL
      OUR OFFENSE IS AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN ANY TEAMIN THE COUNTRY
      BUT OUR DEFENSE NEEDS A LOT OF IMPROVEMENT EXACTLY AS ERIC AND CHARLES SAID

      ONE GOOD THING IS THAT IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE AN EASY SCHEDULE EXCEPT FOF NOTRE DAME AT THE END OF THE SEASON
      AND WE NEED DECENT WEATHER AT UTAH

      WEE SHOULD WIN THE OTHER GAMES OR IM GONN BE ONE MAD DOG IF SOMEONE UPSETS US

      AND IT LOOKS LIKE WE MAYPLAY UTAH AGAIN IN THE TITLE GAME
      BUT ON A NEUTRAL FIELD WE SHOULD TAKE THEM

      THE REST OF THE SEASON SHOULD BE FUN

      DOG GONNA HIT THE SACK
      GOODNIGHT ALL !!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Me too. [But let’s not downplay the challenges presented by Stanford next week —I’ll feel better if we win and escape without any injuries]…..

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Point of Information, Rushmore: Scott practices chastity and abstinence —- just like me —we’re both known worldwide for it….
        #We’reWorkingOnGettingCarolOnBoard

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It was a particularly bad week for scottie. The Trojans covered, and St. Paul lost to PiusX for the first time ever…

        Hahahaha

        And that ruin attendance again!!

        #RecordSetting

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Twitter: UCLA Athletics has announced an attendance of 27,143 at today’s game versus Bowling Green.

    That is a new all-time record low. The previous low was 32,513 on Nov. 7, 1992 vs. Oregon State.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Possible Solution: If every ticket holder is allowed to bring their entire extended family UCLA could fill up maybe close to 10% of the Rose Bowl….
        #ThatWouldMakeThingsAppearLessShameful

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Average attendance at Major Conference games yesterday was 48,000 …. UCLA is hurting national average…. & damaging American prestige abroad…..
        #IsItABigAccident….
        #….OrSickMarxistNihilismOnDisplay?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good that’s near Adam Schiff’s district. Let the Armenians there who keep voting for him sort out the mess.

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      4. More like the concessionaires said fuck it, there’s no customers, we might as well come in, sit down, and watch the game.

        Like

    1. A buddy of mine (ucla grad) went to the sucla game and left at the half. We joked and bet on an over/under of 20,000 fans before he arrived. He conceded the bet after he left the stadium. This morning he texted “The attendance must have included a half-dozen city blocks in the neighborhood.”

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Despite having a 7th year Senior QB and a pro-ready RB in Z Charbonnet, the fan base just won’t support this team.

      IMHO, I’m hoping UCLA is 9-1 or better when we play them in the RB in November. Should be a “real hoot-en-nanny!”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. My friend from ucla said “None of us (ucla fans) can believe Jarmond extended Chip. Jarmond is no better than Dan Guerrero. ucla football will never be relevant until they fire that tub of lard, who doesn’t even disguise his lack of enthusiasm for the job.”

        #TruerWordsNeverSpoken

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh darn, I thought it was okay to enjoy the 66-14 win but now I’m not so sure. I was thinking a lot of mistakes were due to it being a first game. Any more insight that you can bring on how bad USC is? Bruin fans want to know.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The people in the video that Charles posted were some of the homeless in a nearby tent camp who were rounded up and given blue shirts and free 32 oz. waters.
        #CompletelyEmptyRoseBowlWouldBeABadLook
        #ExtendingChipWasSuchAGreatIdea

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The pilot program for safe drug injection sites that Newsom decided not to sign two weeks ago (it would look bad for his 2024 potus campagin) was going to be at the Rose Bowl. Maybe that is why so few sucla fans showed up?

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wolf brings us crashing back to earth. How in the world could an AA/High draft pick get called for holding twice. Not once mind you, but twice, in the same game. How could a name we have not read on here be up high on the tackles list. You could take this article and post it for every team that played yesterday. A win is a win.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. At some point Scott will have to swallow his pride and say “oh crap —we really are back!” ….
        #…Or…
        #….HopeHisPrayersForHumiliatingUpsetAreAnswered

        Liked by 1 person

      2. After the shyt show we’ve all been watching the last few years with Helton and company. Scotty needs to enjoy the win like the rest of us, and 66 points scored( 3 tds by the defense). Instead of finding stuff to complain about like a old hag. Enjoy the moment Scotty, instead of embracing the snark. The Helton era is officially over you can relax now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Trojan 1967
      The best pilot program program for safe drug injection is to close the border. You lose a couple of people a week in this country because of gun violence and they want to take your guns. But we are losing over 2,000 a week because of Fentanol drug overdoses and nobody wants to close the open border whereby these drugs come into america.
      But most of those illegals will vote democrat someday so we’ll just call those 2,000 dead bodies….”collateral damage”. It’s “the ends justifies the means baby”. Read Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’, also known as the rulebook for dictators.

      Like

  4. The Caleb Williams duel threat option with a strong talent to take off and run from defensive pressure is something USC has not had in years, and might be a key element that will be required for USC to compete against the good teams. However, it scares me every time he runs because if he gets hurt there will be a severe drop off in talent and leadership on this team. Miller Moss, is an adequate backup, but without Caleb this team is average at best. Let’s hope he stays healthy the entire season.

    Utah is solid, and will be tough on the road.
    Arizona is vastly improved, and Oregon State might be the best team in the North so it is very important to take one game at a time. Our defensive line is a concern, and don’t be surprised if Stanford gives us a good game with their power/ clock controlling physical running game that will keep the ball away from our offense as they have done in the past.

    Good start to the season….if this team continues to improve, and I think it will especially the defense I fully expect to win the Pac 12 championship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Strong analysis. You couldn’t be more right about the drop off if Caleb [God Forbid] goes out for a game or two. His football skillset, smarts and leadership are irreplaceable….
      #ButHeAbsorbedPlentyOfHitsAtOklahoma…
      #..He’sNoJ.T…Or…Slovis

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I watched the first half of the Beav game, and yes, they play mean Defensive minded football. They spanked Boise and ripped up their veteran QB. The Beav is back!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We listened to SUCLA pre-game on the radio, on our drive to the Coliseum since ours wasn’t on yet. They really talked up the Beavs.

        Heck, they weren’t going to spend their time about about SUCLA football.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Memo sent to Bruin Play by Play announcers: “Our remaining advertiser has demanded the following…… #….PleaseDoNotSay”UCLA”Or”Bruin”DuringBroadcasts…
        #….JustSay”OurTeam”…
        #…OnSecondThought,Don’tEvenSayThat”

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Stanford doesn’t worry me. They are not the team they used to be. Besides, that will be another revenge game, considering what happened last year. The teams that worry me are Utah and UCLA and, of course, ND is always going to be competitive.

      Like

  5. USC has to shore up the defensive line.

    If lowly Rice was able to manhandle and blow the Trojans off the line imagine what the likes of Georgia, Alabama and Ohio St. would do.

    It would be ugly folks.

    I’ll revise my prediction next game vs Stanford, the Cardinal will rush for 335 yards, but USC pulls out the win 38-27

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    1. I’m thinking Stanford goes 200 200 (rushing, passing).
      I don’t think our LB’s will allow 335 rushing yards..
      We have their best RB on our team now.
      Uncertain if their new RB is that good. He has about 2 games under his belt. Their QB will test our D-line and DB’s. Just don’t know if we can pressure the QB. Shaw will set up the run game, then open up the field with the dunks to the big/slow TE’s, which all then allows a few passes to the perimeter to their untalented WR’s. Predictable.

      Send this post to Grinch, though he knows Stanford football as well as I do.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Very important that offense is not put in the position of HAVING to score every time they get ball —“D” has to get a couple of stops….. and hopefully physically beat up on their tight ends in a way they haven’t seen from us lately……

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Emmitt’s son broke off a run early on for over 80 yards, which means the rest of the game they only ran for another 80. Their QB had a big day. I am thinking a ball-control offense might be the ticket.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I must respectfully disagree. Stanford is not going to rush for 335 yards. You’re thinking of the Stanford of old when Harbaugh was there and the first years of David Shaw. That Stanford doesn’t exist anymore. They rushed for 169 yards last week against Colgate…..you know….the toothpaste factory. And 87 of those yards came on one play. Take that one play away and they only rushed for 82 yards AGAINST COLGATE. They will not run for 335 yards against SC.

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  6. No way UCLA had 27,000 fans at the game Saturday——are they counting all the canvas billboards covering the seats at the Rose Bowl, and all the pigeons that have flown over the Rose Bowl looking for food in the last 5 years. All the homeless received free tickets also which is for a a good cause since their degrees from UCLA have not allowed them opportunities to secure jobs.

    No wonder UCLA has struggled in football recruiting in recent years because they have not won any championships, and no one attends the games. South Alabama, Alabama State are next up on the schedule what at embarrassment to have that many cupcakes on the schedule in one season with already very little fan interest. This type of attendance will not cut it in the Big 10, and UCLA will not be able to compete in football any longer.

    UCLA “University of California Losers Association”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 39 new players and a completely new coaching staff except for one guy, and they win but he still sometimes was struggling to find a guy who was open. Totally different than the first half when USC WRs were way, way, wide open.

    #EnjoyTheVictory
    #66-14IsGood
    #VeryGood
    #AndThePac12SucksExceptForUSC

    Liked by 2 people

      1. About half of my post disappeared – it was supposed to say “if scottie wanted to look for a problem, it seems that Rice covered USC WRs much better in second half. Caleb had all day to throw and still seemed to have trouble finding a target.”

        #ScottieIsOnToMe

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Disagree. There are a number of good teams in the Pac-12……..Washington, Utah, UCLA, Oregon State. The Arizona teams both looked pretty good. We still don’t know about Oregon although, admittedly, they didn’t look very good against Georgia. I expected them to lose but not by that score.

      Like

  8. A resounding win wearing uniforms and gear in high 90 temps, new coaches, new players, new schemes and a scrappier opponent than expected is something to celebrate. I was greatly impressed to see a live coaching staff on the sideline watching the game making calls, and actively involved……to me, this is hope for the season ahead. I’m eager to see how the team and coaches do in an away game at Stanford.
    I think Wittingham is generally a great coach, but he made the same stupid call at end of game last night that he did at USC when he could have gone into OT.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. “Not a Big Game Coach” — correct based on results —maybe just a solid coach who was allowed to shine cuz of Clay & Chip….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I do think that he is a big time coach. His record in bowl games is 10-4. His overall record is 143-71. He had that season in 2008 where he was 13-0 and beat Alabama in the bowl game. I just don’t think that he gets the quality players that SC and even UCLA get. He gets a lot of players from junior college.
        A good percentage of your really good players are blacks. Why would a really good black player want to go and live and play in an all white city mormon city like Salt Lake City. If Utah puts people in the pros, it’s because they develope them…..something that never happened under CH…..hopefully, that will now start to change.

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    1. I guess I’m just not as worried about Stanford as a lot of people. I just don’t think that that team is as good as it used to be. I know they beat SC pretty bad last year but SC was a program in chaos at that time. Who knows, next saturday may probe me wrong. But I don’t think so. I think Fresno State will be a better game but I think SC will win that one too. The first real test will come against OSU.

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  9. I dunno, but I’m going back to 2001-2002.
    I kinda got a sense as PC ran a streak to end the 2001 season–esp beating both rivals–that we were back. A few loses in 2002 which could have been wins. Then 2003.

    I think all of us here on the board will suffer a few inexplicable losses this year as the defense gets built up. Hell, it could even happen in the Rose Bowl.

    Still, to answer the question of the day. Yes, USC is back.
    In the 4th quarter at Utah, I like our offense and QB better than Rising and Whit. If we go to Q4 tied in SLC, we win. ND offense looked boring–as usual. Still, they have 10 games to get better. Their defense will be a great challenge for Riles, but I expect Riles to beat Freeman in November. Riles vs Chip will be interesting.

    Too early to tell, but USC is back.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I still say that LR didn’t come here to win conference championships. He was doing that at Oklahoma. He came to USC with NC ambitions. He’s the type of a coach who can take SC football to the promiseland. CH wasn’t. He was a nice guy but not a great coach.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Scott is correct in his assessment of this team. The offensive line gets higher marks than they deserve due to the skills of CW. It was not able to really open up large holes for the running backs and so we didnt see an explosive run attack.

    The defense is shot through with holes. Secondary has some major problems. Defensive line is porous. I assume there is ALOT of changes in the roster over this season as some guys step forward and others just fall down. Is Korey Foreman ever going to live up to his potential? I hope so.

    What I think is that this team will be more like a true air raid offense than almost any other team. But an effective air raid offense that is supported by a decent (not good) run game. And a porous defense that has a difficult time getting off the field, but finds a way to get a turnover or a stop enough times that it allows the offense to win many games. The big difference is that we have a brilliant head coach who knows how to play chess with other teams, unlike the air raid offense of Harrell.

    My win total is now at 9-3, with a range from 10-2 to 7-5. Arizona will not be a pushover, UCLA has an offense we might not be able to stop. Notre Dame’s defense might be able to really slow down this offense. Utah might just dominate the trenches so much that we cant win. And of course Oregon State is going to be really solid.

    But we are nowhere near an SEC elite level team today. I would be shocked if we make the CFP.

    Actually, I had even more joy at Oregon getting crushed by Georgia than by the USC game, which left me with mixed feelings.

    Regardless, USC is back on the right track, we just havent reached the destination yet.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with most of what you said. The O-Line does not to get better. True, they gained 208 rushing but 78 of those yards came from C. Williams and Miller Moss. It just doesn’t seem like the holes were there for the running backs. even though Rice was only rushing 4 men the whole game. The defense…..hopefully it will turn out well considering that there is a lack of depth and this is football not golf.
      Is this an air raid team. I guess it depends on how you define air raid team. In the 5 years that LR was at Oklahoma, he ran the ball 55% of the time and he ran it well.Oklahoma averaged:
      2021 187.5 YPG
      2020 179.7 YPG
      2019 240.2 YPG
      2018 247.4 YPG
      2017 217.8 YPG
      That sounds like more than just an air raid team.

      Like

    2. Hey gametv, your right on with your assessment of our season. This is a stretch but we have to do these 5 things to deliver a magical season. 1. Grinch and Manning stop having rush ends line up 2 yards wide of the DT then run themselves out of position to make sack or TFL in backfield. Start teaching them to use their hands to get better leverage on OT, so they slide through instead of just speed rushing (You Need To Create Pressure With Pushing OL Back Into QB, then RE can get Sacks (DAH) 2. Ditto for OL Use More Lower Body to Displace OL with Physicality and try to Pancake the OL. (It keeps holes open longer. 3. WR. Rotation, Must clarify on how many snaps 1st & 2nd String will get each game. Washington & Williams and Addison had the most targets in Rice, is that going the norm. (OC must clarify each WR role for each week, to maximize each WR, to avoid bad chemistry among WR. 4 LB must fill the gaps vacated by DL push so that creates lanes for them to keep RB from making 5-7 yard gains because their out of position, making it easier for offense to move the chains (Rice 1st half rushing numbers) Must get better at pre snap auidables. 5. CB must use better techniques with staying with WR through the whole play, had too many plays where they could defended the ball. (Know when the MIke has changed from zone to man so no blown assignments can occur, putting pressure on the offense to out score every team. We are a Air Raid Team just face it. If we are to have the magical undefeated season, which is delusional by me. It can be achieved if we master those 5 points. Our schedule is taylor made Utah , ND and possible OSU because of their defensive minded approach. We need to understand that it can be accomplished and we will know against Stanford if our magical season continues.

      Like

      1. Wow, great points! I sometimes wonder if the coaching staff understands the problems they have, or the players just dont take coaching well?

        I really hate when a player like Foreman speed rushes and blows right past the QB or falls down at his feet, what a wasted effort! I am most worried about the running game defense. So many players out of position in defending the run attack. Why wasnt this solved in the fall camp?

        There is a saying that steel sharpens steel. I just think that neither the defensive line, nor the offensive line is really physical enough to dominate. So when they get to games, they are facing tougher opponents.

        I do think that the focus on conditioning might make USC a better closing team, able to perform better in the second half and that might make the difference in some games.

        Grinch seems smart enough to make adjustments in-game, so I think he will also be effective at coaching after reviewing the tape.

        I saw someone else cited the rushing stats for Oklahoma under Riley, but that included CW, so I think without him, those numbers go down. With a really explosive passing attack, it should actually open up the run game even more, but I dont see that happening in the first game for SC.

        My guess is that Riley sees all these problems but didnt focus on them in his after game presser because he wants to create a very positive external image of the program.

        CW and this receiving crew is going to keep us in alot of games.

        One last point. I think the key to USC football is going to be the time of possession our opponents are able to have their offense on the field. Keeping our offense off the field is the key to winning against USC. Some of the statistics for our offense would have been higher, but our defense kept scoring and putting Rice back on the field.

        The next blow-out game we have, I hope they use some of the garbage time to just work on their ground game, pounding the ball and challenging our offensive line to open up the holes. If we can open up a big lead against Stanford, that would be a great team to get our players some good reps.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Unfortunately inside sources are reporting that R Brown will be out for the year with a torn acl. Sobering news after a good win.

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  12. Stanford has a bad coach, who mismanaged his roster. They can’t push real teams around anymore. If your quarterback isn’t mobile then your skill talent better be unstoppable and able to win their match ups. I don’t see that with Stanford. It’s a field goal offense. The defense lacks speed, playmakers and depth. Only special teams can save Stanford because USC is disgusting in special teams. USC is back to putting players out of games. Benny Wylie is the true MVP of this program.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Utah and Washington will be good. So will Oregon State. I’m not too worried about Stanford. They haven’t been good in a number of years. Arizona and ASU looked good. It’s hard to say about Oregon because they played Georgia not Weber State but they didn’t look very good. Too many great predictions were made about a team that has a coach who had never been a HC in his life. UCLA will be very good, at least, offensively. The UCLA-USC game will be a high scoring offensive explosion.
    Cheer up Wolfie. I really don’t think that we would have lost if Wiley Green, Cameron Montgomery and Cedric Patterson had played the whole game. I’m still not sure we know with any degree of certainty how good this team will be….Stanford will tell us a little more. But so far, things are looking great.

    Like

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