The big picture for USC’s defense: Current patterns are not sustainable

·2 min read

Picking off passes in the end zone is a formula for success at USC in 2022. Any drive in which the opponent doesn’t score dramatically increases the Trojans’ odds of winning if the score is close. To be sure, getting takeaways does need to be a huge part of what Alex Grinch cultivates in his first season as USC’s defensive coordinator. No one is arguing to the contrary.

The obvious point, however: It can’t be the main foundation of what USC seeks to achieve. It’s a big component, but it’s not the number one priority.

USC has to show more resistance on defense. It can’t allow teams to continuously gain first down and goal.

Stanford got inside the USC 5-yard line on four of its first five possessions Saturday evening. USC did get two turnovers on those four trips, which was big, but the obvious point arises: Later this season, an opposing offense won’t turn the ball over. It won’t make mistakes. It will call better plays. It will block better.

USC’s defense has to take an opponent’s best punch. It hasn’t done that yet in 2022.

USC’s rush defense has to be better. Linebackers and safeties need to take better routes to the ball in run support. The Trojans need to get off the field more on third downs, especially in first halves. We have a long way to go, folks.

We talked about this at The Voice of College Football’s USC postgame show with co-hosts Tony Altimore, Tim Prangley, and Rick Anaya. Catch the USC postgame show right after every Trojan football game this fall.

List

USC and Rice are 2 of only 13 FBS programs with a special place in football history

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire