Morning Buzz: USC-Rice Report Card

QUARTERBACK

Is there anything Caleb Williams can’t do? He’s really the best thrower and runner on the team and that will become more apparent against superior teams. Well, as superior as teams can be on that crummy schedule USC plays. Lincoln Riley just needs to keep him healthy.

Grade: A-

RUNNING BACK

No tailback had more than six carries so it’s probably not completely fair to judge anyone. Raleek Brown had the flashiest run but hurt his ankle. Travis Dye is the ultimate team player but he didn’t bypass the NFL for five carries.

Grade: C+

WIDE RECEIVER

The fanboys are thrilled 12 different receivers caught passes. But the Rice defense didn’t really let us learn more than we already knew. It’s a talented receiving corps. But let’s see who will step up when the Trojans get into a tight game?

Grade: B

OFFENSIVE LINE

This was a fairly routine performance against an overmatched opponent. The greatest asset for the line is Caleb Williams’ ability to evade a pass rush and keep the sack stats low.

Grade: C

DEFENSIVE LINE

There were a few displays of physicality but not enough. Rice rushed for too many yards until its starting tailback got hurt. An underrated transfer is Tyrone Taleni of Kansas State, who had 2 tackles. Korey Foreman looks extremely light.

Grade: C-

LINEBACKERS

Transfer Portal U. came through big time as Shane Lee and Eric Gentry lived up to the buzz. Think how good Alabama’s defense is that it could toss aside Lee. These two make plays and play smart. That’s not something I wrote in the Helton Era!

Grade: A-

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Tipped interceptions are great but there wasn’t a lot to feel great about in the secondary, especially when you get into the pass-happy Pac-12. We already knew Calen Bullock was the star in the secondary. But let’s see how Ceyair Wright, Jaylin Smith and Co. fare against way better offenses than Rice.

Grade: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS

With one punt and a 25-yard field goal, there wasn’t much going on here. That 26-yard punt can’t be a normal occurrence but it was the first college punt for Aadyn Sleep-Dalton. Oh, I can’t tell you how much I dislike Jordan Addison returning punts. That’s a good way to get hurt.

Grade: D+

COACHING

Here’s the deal: Lincoln Riley is smart enough to figure out what’s going on in the game and make changes, if necessary. Alex Grinch made some adjustments at halftime but they weren’t more important than Rice losing its QB/TB. It was a good first game because everyone played and didn’t let up.

Here’s what I didn’t like: Letting that towel waver on the sideline.

Grade: B

36 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: USC-Rice Report Card

    1. I WAS WATCHING THE UCLA GAME WHICH WAS SO BORING IDECIDED TO COUNT THE CROWD

      IT WAS SO EASY
      SOFEW THERE

      SO I WAS FAST AND ACCURATE AND THE ACTUAL COUNT WAS

      6969

      WHICHALSO HAPPENS TO BE THE PASS CODE FOR ALL THR DEVICES OF A PROMINENT MEMBER HERE ON THE BOARD

      WHO SHALL REMAIN ANONYMOUS

      FOR THE TIME BEING !!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. WIFEY GOING TO HONOLULU THIS WEEK AND THEN ON TO MAUI FOR SOMETHING SHE SAYS IS NONE OF MY EFFING BUSINESS

        SHOULD I BE AT ALL WORRIED ???

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Dear George,
        Generally people don’t announce “I’d like to be the designated defendant in upcoming misappropriation lawsuits.”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. hi john,i gotta go to wirk at my hedj funned job,wunt me to pik stokks but dont now y thay dont do thay selfs thare iz so menny .smdh btw I go to spelling clas with the 1st grade 2 day. teacher say I look lik dumb azz b cuz Missus put sign on mi back that said I really am a dumb azz

      Like

    3. Repory Card

      USC Defensive Line vs Rice

      Kourtney Foreman, Tuli Tuilupoopoo and the rest of the girls on the defensive front…

      Like

      1. Last year a 3-8 Rice team rushed for 3.8 yards a carry. Against the Trojans weak defensive front led by Tuli Tuilupoopoo and monumental bust Kourtney Foreman Rice averaged 4.3 yards a carry

        How Embarrassing

        Like

    4. It is a Rice game report card. Then Wolf says “Lets see who will step up…” C’mon Wolf. Either shit or get off the pot. You wanna grade a specific game do it fairly. Receivers = A. Grading a towel waver?? Benton on D line = B. What game did you watch??

      Like

  1. Tough to gauge Stanford on the basis of FCS Colgate. Stanford 24-30 passing for 300+. Take out an 87 yard run and leading rusher has 31. Held Colgate to 59 yards passing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. hi john,i gotta go to wirk at my hedj funned job,wunt me to pik stokks but dont now y thay dont do thay selfs thare iz so menny of them,toled them i aint reely shur wut im dowin heer but thay sed i wil fit in cuz thay dont ether,

    Liked by 3 people

      1. ugh,tirns owt that i don’t wirk heer,i geuss its bakk to stawking this blahg sum moar,smdh
        Btw, my posterior cavity is still sore, so I not date steveg49 no more, he too rough

        Like

      2. Ed’s is running a bunch of AI algorithms he developed for cross-hedging, but Ed has figured out how to do this with 3 or more assets, compared to just using two, which is what the Goldman guys run. Letting AI sort it out gives Ed time to devote to “Inside USC”.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Anybody remember the Celtics-Lakers series from the ’80s? Fing Cornbread Maxwell was their towel waver. Pretty much all he could do was wave the towel from the bench.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ’67
        The towel waiver for Boston was M.L. Carr – contender for most annoying on the deepest squad of annoying players in history (Danny Ainge being neck and neck with him for that crown)…(Cedric) Cornbread Maxwell was a really good player whose career ended prematurely due to injuries…good insight in ESPN 30 For 30 into how he was probably the most instrumental Celts player in the 1984 7 game…not an upset, per se, but close…Cornbread led UNC-Charlotte to the 1977 Final Four and nearly deprived Al McGuire of his elevated place in college hoops history…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Running backs run 20 times for 124 yards, that is six yards a carry, no fumbles, I didn’t see any of those guys make a mistake on blocking. Not a C+.

    Grading for the blogger’s grading: D

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That would surely be the grade for ANY other blogger handing out these grades, 67…..
      #ButForScott’sPurposes….. A+

      Like

  4. Scooter,

    This is game one. You can’t take too much from this game. Defense was pushed around in the first half but they shut down the run to force Rice to throw the ball more than they had wanted to. Offense looked good. You did not mention how the smoothness of the offense. There was no 5 yard gain and then a 6 yard loss with a holding penalty. SC ahd 4 penalties, two of them from the second string oline. I will take that for the first game.

    I am waiting for your Report Card for Rice. This is what I think you will write,
    QB: B+ Williams had three incompletions, no sacks and 68 yardds rushing, Moss was 6-7 or 7-8 with 68 yards passing and some yards rushing.

    Receivers: B+ Dropped one pass and two were none catchable

    OL: C-, you will grill them for the four penalities, but will not give them credit for opening holes and having the running game look alot smooter and no sacks. But you will give credit to the qbs for no sacks.

    Rb: B- minus, not enought touches or scoring

    Receivers: Missed four catches combined with over 28 passes thrown. Only one was dropped.

    Dline: C–, could not stop the run in the first half, but made adjustments and stopped the run in the second half and forced them to throw.

    Lbers: B, three interceptions is okay, but couldnt stop the run in the first half

    DBs; C——, First drive for Rice looked like a Helton coached team. Giving up a td by not stopping the passes.

    Special Teams: C: Made a field goal but a 26 yd punt will force the coaches to find a new punter

    Coaching: C: Could not stop the run or pass in the first half. Offense was bland and it was all Williams who did all the work with his legs.

    Overall performance: C-, defense needs work and oline had four penalities. BTW Scooter, last year SC’s oline would have four penalities in a row in the first quarter.

    That is about correct on what you will or would write.

    9/6/22:
    I will compare when I have a chance and see how close I was to your report card.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Caleb Williams – Did Caleb need to fly in order to get an A?

    A

    Running Backs – How can you downrank the running backs for not enough carries? This grading system makes no sense. And the emergence of Raleek Brown was a revelation. If he stays healthy, watch out Heisman, seriously.

    B+

    Wide Receivers – Once again, do they need to fly to get an A? Receivers were everything advertised, which is a straight A

    A

    Offensive Line – This wasnt the dominant performance we need to see from them. They didnt really open up holes that would allow the running backs to break out on longer runs.

    C+

    Defensive Line – The D line was getting blown off their marks, had problems with gap integrity and didnt have a rush until the second half. This unit is a soft underbelly.

    D

    Linebackers – Good overall performances here.

    B+

    Secondary – This unit seems porous. If the Rice receivers could catch this unit would have been exposed even more. Maybe Scott is right that Donte cant coach.

    D

    This offense is special, but the offensive line will hold them back against good opponents. If the defense doesnt get better rapidly they will force this offense to be perfect to win games.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s all about the D.
    Hopefully, with more reps in practice against some really talented QB’s/WR’s/RB’s, the D will improve their technique.

    My report card for the Rice game?
    Imcompletes all around.
    It was a placement test to see if the student was ready for a real college class.

    (BTW, in my pre-game post I suggested that Riley should not punt vs Rice. Guess I was correct! I must think that Gary Bryant could catch punts.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good halftime adjustments for the D. Just 69 yards of Rice offense in second half, only 33 yards rushing. I think we will see this unit improve substantially over time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bingo! I know this is a near 3 months too early but consider unlike the ‘2nd coming’ that is ‘the princess’ new head coach. Two games in a row he’s failed to make any half-time adjustments and 2 losses (OK St. Fiesta and 4th Sept. @ OH St.) to show for it.

        Admittedly Rice is neither of them but Riley knows he’s got one real shot to get this right and that means ‘…know what worked and what didn’t and change what didn’t.’

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Scooter,

    I wrote my report card on 9/5/22. I copied and pasted it here. Now time to compare

    It will break down like this: Scooter’s Report card will be S. My report card will be Mine or M.

    Here we go:
    QB
    S: A-
    M: B+

    RB:
    S: C+
    M: B-

    WR:
    S: B
    M: I did not rate

    OL:
    S: C-
    M: C-

    DL:
    S: C-
    M: C-

    LB:
    S: A-
    M: B

    DB:
    S: C-
    M: C- –

    ST:
    S: D+
    M: C

    Coach:
    B
    M: C

    Overall
    M: C-

    I was rating on what I think Scooter would have rated the team. I was close in a few areas. My explanation is above for my comments.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. If Scott were a professor I would drop his class based on his grades. I am rarely motivated to work harder under harsh criticism. I was thinking about special teams. The punt wasn’t spectacular but it came when the O-line was testing on its laurels. (That’s what they call the butt in Oklahoma -it’ll catch on.) Anyway towel waving in that heat is welcomed as are any wind producing movements (except breaking wind)
    The missing grade is Traveler, who almost died running around after every touchdown. A+ (it’s hot in that horse suit)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries, my friend. Scott is notorious for giving out top grades to ghosts… look at how easy he is on Micky Cohen….
      #…SoGoAhead&TakeHis”GraduateSnark”Class….

      Like

  9. The way to beat these smash mouth football ball control teams like Stanford, Oregon State, Utah and even ND is to use your offense to get a big lead on them. When that happens they have to abandon their bread and butter ball control offense and start throwing the ball. Most of these teams don’t play well from behind.
    But that is also how they beat you. They control the ball and the clock so that your offense doesn’t have the ball. When your offense is the anchor of your team and it is on the sidelines, your chances of winning are diminished.

    Like

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