Morning Buzz: USC-Tulane Report Card


Caleb Williams did everything he needed to do to win the game but even his extraordinary powers cannot overcome the entity known as the USC defense.

Grade: A-


The absence of Travis Dye finally showed itself in the final game as Austin Jones never really got going. Raleek Brown had a nice TD run but still lacks maturity. Then again, how much did Lincoln Riley really want to run the ball anyways?

Grade: C


Who needed Jordan Addison when Brenden Rice took over the game? Ten receivers caught passes in the game for nice balance. The only thing missing was a tight end catching a pass.

Grade: B+


The official line from the honks is that the line stepped up without Andrew Vorhees and Brett Neilon. But for large parts of the game Tulane looked like it had three guys who were out of shape rushing Caleb Williams and it’s not hard to pass block when Williams is running loose. They couldn’t run block for some reason, as the safety in the end zone demonstrated.

Grade: C-


Tuli Tuipulotu had only two tackles in his final game but no one else did much either. How could they when Tulane rushed for 305 yards? This unit was pretty much invisible. Remember a year ago everyone talked about how defensive line coach Shaun Nua coached Aidan Hutchinson?

Grade: F


Eric Gentry said he was 100 percent healthy and had maybe his quietest game of the season with two tackles. Raesjon Davis got his first extended time of the season (27 snaps) but how much will he get next season with the transfers and incoming freshmen?

Grade: F


It’s hard to believe the secondary faced only 17 passes. But on that final drive everyone knew Tulane was going to score. The coverage was terrible and the tackling worse.

Grade: F


So the coaches apparently were unhappy with Raleek Brown’s kick returns and threw Mario Williams out there for the fair catch/drop at the 1-yard line. One of the biggest bonehead decisions of the game.

Grade: D


You had the coverage problems. You had the tackling disasters. Then there was the special teams blunder on the kick return. And how about calling those runs from the 1-yard line when you have the gifted Caleb Williams at QB?

Grade: F


44 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: USC-Tulane Report Card

  1. Probably the most honest grading this year. However, offensive line somewhat unfair as the lack of Tulane’s pass rush is not the fault of USC’s line. Should be B to B+. Safety was more about play call.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep. Lame play calling, not o-line breakdown, when game was on the line after the Mario Williams “I-Think-I-Found-A-Way-To-Lose” play.
      So Scott gets an A-?


    2. My corrections.

      QB – Straight A – Another incredible performance. Even the interception doesnt lower the grade.

      Receivers – Straight A – They were incredible. The depth of the receiver core is outstanding. Once again, congrats to Branden Rice.

      Special Teams – F – When you look at stats on field position, this was a truly epic fail.

      Coaching – D – If this is an overall grade, it needs to account for the whole performance, including the offensive plan, which was solid. A D is plenty bad to account for all the massive coaching mistakes.


  2. mostly agree…this is a win lose/pass fail grading time…a fail = F for every one especially the coaches and decisions during the game besides game prep for a month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Grinch lost his team when he said they disappointed him all year. He meant it as motivation —but he was barking up the wrong tree since they are nearly all unmotivatable crybabies.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Fire Grinch and every defensive coach includingDonte and do it today
        But before you fire them torture them by pulling out toenail and fingernails and then use a cigarette lighter on those open wounds for a few hours.

        No Pope Francis I ain’t.
        Sorry Michael
        I’m just a pissed off corpse who didn’t want Joe at his funeral. That’s not good.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And if we don’t hire a special teams coach and get some quality linemen on both sides of the ball we gonna be fucked in the head again next season dammit all to hell
        Michael. You are THE WORKS around here so please help me get this shit done.
        You know who i really am ol buddy
        If not— a clue—hah more like a give away
        Where is AOC when you need her ??

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey thanx mg So Cal. Owns. 67. And all the gang
        Feeling feisty today as you can tell and on the mend for sure I think
        I was really too sick to watch the Tulane game but caught a replay which made me mad enough to fight some kind of nasty non Covid flu bug.
        Wolf is a great guy on Fridays but can be a real dirt bag
        Rushes out to get the Tulane grades and we still haven’t seen the Notre Dame grades. Fuck that shit
        It’s good to be back

        Fight on !!

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Great to see you back, GT!!

        I thought of you yesterday when I saw a trailer for an upcoming movie with your girl. It’s called “The Menu”, a psychological horror flick. Looks really good!

        Liked by 3 people

      5. I don’t know what went so terribly wrong, but the coaches actually do. Why they could not correct this is either incompetence,or the talent a lot worse than thought,or both.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Fire Bohn-head. The core problem always goes to the top of the org chart. Bohn is a mediocre to poor AD. He doesnt have much of a brain for sports. Without Sosna, he is pretty much clueless and Sosna was inexperienced.

        Any sports fan could have hired Lincoln Riley with USC’s checkbook. This wasnt some masterstroke where he hired a head coach that we have never heard of, and then they went on to immediate success.

        Riley is an incredible offensive mind and QB coach, but a relatively poor head coach. This is where a good AD could support Riley and make sure he developed his head coaching skills.

        Bohn’s NIL program is retarded. He allowed a bunch of Heritage Hall rejects to go out and start a program where they have little to no proven experience and then destroyed any outside collectives for the university. This is program malpractice and it is killing USC’s recruiting versus a bunch of programs like Texas, Miami, Oregon that should be getting USC’s leftovers.

        The relatively poor support that USC gets from the fanbase and the lame game-day experience are further proof of Bohn’s failure. How can the Notre Dame game not be 100% sold out? As a marketing department, this is 100% failure (although much of it goes back to the previous years where they have done everything possible to destroy the fanbase).

        Unfortunately, Carol Folt is an even worse idiot and the BOT is completely incompetent, so there will be no changes at the AD position. They are probably celebrating this football program as a victory. Anyone with a real brain realizes that Caleb Williams is a once-in-a-generation player and to not build a dominant program that will win the CFP is an EPIC FAILURE!!!!!!

        Hopefully Riley is capable of the introspection needed to realize that he needs to develop in certain areas and needs to push for changes at HH to create a truly successful program. Hopefully, he doesnt try to make up for deficiencies throughout the program by simply trying to make the offense unstoppable. That would be his blindspot. He needs to change and build a program that can win, even without a Superman, or even without his offensive brilliance.


  3. That opening 17-play, 75 yard, 9-minute drive was a thing of beauty. I don’t expect that style all the time, but no consistency in the run game after that. Without Williams scrambling ability, there’d a lot more sacks. USC needs a new DC and defensive scheme. USC’s in for a rude awakening in 2024 in their debut B10 season if they don’t start making changes now. Need to step up the recruiting too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jim Leonhard’s performance as DC (reply shows Grinch’s):

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I liked the first video too, Gabby — it was a beautiful insight into your mind.


    2. I say that USC will lose 2 or 3 games next year if they dont fix things. Washington and Oregon will be tough, Utah will always be tough. UCLA might even be better. The Pac-12 will have alot of explosive offenses and if USC cant stop any of them, it will be difficult to go unbeaten and win a bid to the CFP.

      I think that if USC has another poor defense next year the CFP committee will shun them, even as a one-loss conference winning team.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So cal…..Thanks for posting the trailer, a movie added to my “must-see list”.

    Ralph Fiennes is one of my favorite actors who have yet to win the elusive Oscar, a few noimemtionns.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Personally, wolf’s most enthusiastic report card of the season four “F” grades. I am not saying they don’t deserve them

    I will disagree with the 0-line grade. You can’t pass for 462 yards without the support of the big uglies up front, regardless of how weak the pass rush was. Solid “B”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 100% —you can’t ask for more than that from a line working as a unit for the first time. And you can’t grade them down for not being able to protect a runner going up the middle from the 1 yard line. They were forced into a no-win situation by another player —i.e., the safety was NOT on them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I had the entire offense at an A.
      If you hold the ball for 40 minutes, gain 600 yards versus the #25 defense in D1 CFB, and put up over 40 points, then you did your job.
      The safety call was weird, as Caleb held the ball “extra long” on the option play.

      The entire defense except Tuli (and maybe Mekhi) earned an F. Mekhi had several nice passes defended. I think they stopped throwing his way. With the game on the line, Tuli came up like a true champion Trojan with the “game winning” sack. Problem is, the other 10 couldn’t even do their job on the remainder of the infamous game losing drive. Can’t get a stop on numerous 4th and long? Truly horrific, and symbolic of the failures of the entire season for the D.

      As a side-bar on the special teams, Rex Moore’s kid came up with ANOTHER key 15 yard thug penalty which helped the Trojans lose the game versus Tulane (a thuggish crack-back block on a kickoff which pinned USC deep again after a Tulane kickoff). Recall that Clyde tried to lose us the Oregon State game with a thug roughing play on the kickoff which set the Beav’s up with better field position in their drive for a game winner. Had the starters not come up with the INT, Clyde would have materially helped the Beav’s win THAT game. Rex was a better Trojan than that. Clyde will be back next year and just might cost us a game. Last time I checked, he had about 2 tackles on the year–one of which lead to a 15 yard penalty.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So glad you pointed that out, Bourbon. So far Clyde is way more trouble than he’s worth….. and he might just fuck up a game or two before he’s done…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Why wouldn’t Riley hire the coach that has fielded some of the best defenses in the Big 10? The conference your about to enter? Can’t we get some reporting on that Mr. Wolf?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Great question —but no one can answer it [without being in the room].
      My solution seems dramatic –but it would work. Riley gets his people to find out what it would take to get Leonhard at USC —he then finds out how much USC is willing to spend to make it happen —and he makes up the difference out of his own salary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw hell no! He’s going to say kiss my Muleshoe and head right over to the NFL because the Broncos, Colts or even the Panthers would take him over the dummies like Hackett and pay him his USC salary!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s easy to slam the defense and the thing about that is it doesn’t really help improve the defense. Yes, it was not very good, obviously. But we’ve got to be ready for the next play and it’s coming up on August 26. I plan to be there if I’m still breathing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s not only easy to slam the defense —it’s mandatory.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I held out hope for this D, especially when Shaw got into the lineup and Gentry healed up.

      Sadly, after attending the Vegas game and watching the Tulane game intently, there is NO SIGN OF LIFE in this defense.

      Mekhi was a gift and is now gone.
      Tuli was a gift and was wasted by the Trojans.
      Watched Shane Lee, and he is not Alabama quality.

      Only hope for defense is if Riley can work the same magic on the D which he worked on our Offense in late 2021/early 2022.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Speaking historically, Riley’s “magic” doesn’t emanate in that direction…. it only directs itself to the side of scrimmage with a center & QB on it….


  8. The final national power rankings came out and USC beat Ucla twice. First I wonder how important the championship game is if the final rankings have come out before the game. But I am not making this up, USC beat Ucla twice. Ucla is ranked number 20 in the country- well done Slyltherin
    University of South Carolina (USC without the linked SC) is number 19- go gamecocks
    University of Southern California is ranked number 9 in the country- Fight On
    This ranking is something I expect Scott to dispute. Perhaps he will tell us the reason for the high ranking is deflect attention away from the defensive woes and keep Grinch safe for another year of missed tackles. It is a great day which includes USC beating Ucla twice in one poll. Maybe in the court of bouncing balls and baskets it will happen again.
    (It’s a safe bet someone will looking up statistics such as graduation or academics to attempt a retort, but those are meaningless statistics when comparing schools.)


  9. There isn’t one credible source saying Grinch is gone and a big time DC is coming in. Not sure where all the smoke is coming from other than hopeful message boards.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Scooter,

    I still have not gottenover the Tulane loss. This is just as bad as the Fresno St. loss or the El Paso loss with Marjanunvich. Horrible. Yet there is no news about Grinch, the d coahces, or recruiting. Also, tonight will be a beat down on the basketball team. Feels like Larry Smith all over again.


  11. Alex Grinch has lost his credibility. He’s like Clay Helton at the end of his career at SC. Earlier CH was an outstanding recruiter and they had top recruiting classes under CH. But he lost his credibility and his last few classes were not good at all. That last class was terrible until LR came in and lifted it a bit. They were around 100th when they hired LR. CH had lost his credibility. Grinch is losing his credibility(if he hasn’t already lost it). It’s going to be hard to get good 4 and 5 star defensive players. If they want to win NC’s, they have to get those guys. SC has real good talent but not compared to the Alabama’s, Georgia’s and Ohio States in the world. SC has three 5 stars and thirty seven 4 stars on their team. Georgia has fifteen 5 stars and forty 4 stars and I’m sure that the other big schools are similar. If the great defensive players don’t see a good defense, they won’t come.


  12. Riley is in a pickle with Grinch because it can be said that Grinch didn’t have the talent to work with and he’s bound by loyalty to give Grinch another year.It’ll be even harder to unload Grinch next year, as the chance to get Jim Leonard will have passed.I’m hoping Bohn can help Riley make the decision a little easier. #TheTimeIsNow


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