What if USC’s defense doesn’t get significantly better and is just a feature of Lincoln Riley teams?
Here’s an excerpt from The Athletic: “Among teams that have made the CFP since it started in 2014, Riley-coached Oklahoma teams had the three worst defenses in terms of yards per play allowed. (The Bob Stoops-coached 2015 Oklahoma team, meanwhile, ended that season ranked No. 15 in the nation in fewest yards per play allowed.)”
“It would be easy to blame the players, but since it keeps happening, it’s more appropriate to blame the eight-figure employee who dictates the entire program’s philosophy. This keeps happening in programs Riley coaches.”
“The only difference between Riley’s Oklahoma teams and 2022 USC was that USC’s defense was exposed before it could reach the CFP and get truly battered. If the Trojans had played Georgia, the Bulldogs might have been able to beat them without even attempting a pass.”
You get the picture. Riley’s an offensive guy. He cares about the offense. His defenses are never great. So if he wants a high-quality, he needs to change his philosophy.