Here are my thoughts on USC-Fresno State:
- I’m starting to feel like the passing game relies too much on Jordan Addison and Mario Williams. They were targeted 19 times Saturday night. All the other receivers were targeted a combined 11 times.
Now there’s nothing wrong with throwing to the best receivers. But a good team might be able to blunt their impact and then does USC have anyone else? Gary Bryant, who started last year, didn’t even have a pass thrown to him. Terrell Bynum, who transferred from Washington, has not caught a pass this season.
- I never felt like USC lost control of the game or was in trouble. This goes back to the consistency of competence I talked about earlier this week. If I hightlight a weak point, it’s to illustrate what might happen if USC played an elite team.
- Which brings me to the defense. I never felt like they were in control either. Fresno State rushed for 164 yards, which should happen. They had a 40-yard run, a 32-yard run and a 27-yard run. That’s unacceptable.
- Eric Gentry has led USC in tackles for three straight games. Where would the Trojans be without him? Solomon Byrd wasnt’t even really getting reps a couple weeks ago but is now starting and thriving at defensive end. He had four tackles; a sack and forced fumble. Byrd’s ascension has kept Korey Foreman on the sideline.
- Caleb Williams finally looked human in stretches of the game and it was OK. USC still scored 45 points (against Fresno State).
- People are complimenting the offensive line but I felt like Williams was running for his life at times Saturday.
- The special teams was OK but the kickoff teams looks vulnerable. Nikko Remigio of Fresno State averaged 31 yards on returns and almost broke a couple.
- I’m starting to hear overwhelmingly from fans about the sheer loudness at the games — and not in a good way.
They are inundated with noise from DJ Malski and then piped in music for ads and other nonsense. Then there are the loud announcements and unnatural snippets of music meant to fire someone up but generally ignored by the crowd.
It’s so absurd that USC has a sponsor for the red zone. When USC reaches the red zone, the announcer yells, “Now in the -sponsor- Red Zone”.