The numbers can lie, but in this case, they don’t. Per Pro Football Focus, the USC Trojan defense missed 14 tackles against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday night.
Some of these missed tackles were easy to spot because they came in one-on-one situations on the perimeter, outside the numbers. Bryson Shaw missed one such tackle on the far edge of the field on a 3rd and 6. If he had made the tackle, USC would have forced a fourth down.
On Arizona State’s fourth-quarter touchdown, Eric Gentry and Max Williams both missed tackles. This was all part of a very uneven, very sloppy performance in which ASU scored 28 points one week after being shut out by Fresno State. ASU running back Cam Skattebo collected 111 rushing yards and 79 receiving yards. He torched USC on a night when Arizona State did not have a dangerous downfield passing game and rarely tried to throw deep.
Alex Grinch simply has to get this problem solved, and soon.
— Shotgun Spratling (@ShotgunSpr) September 24, 2023
USC win over ASU felt like a loss in many ways.
Alex Grinch is not quieting his critics, and bigger tests await.