Rice game is less about the perfect script, more about the ideal response

·1 min read

No more dress rehearsals. This is the real thing. This isn’t practice. It isn’t a scrimmage. This is the real McCoy. USC faces Rice in Week 1 of the college football season.

Sure, the Trojans are expected to win this game by a truckload of points, but it’s still a college football game. It’s still live action and a gameday experience with a marching band and cheerleaders and a crowd and a set of officials. USC players finally get to go up against a real opponent instead of practicing among themselves. No more simulations or carefully managed situations. This is it.

USC did schedule this game because of all the transitions involved on the roster and all the uncertainties it would create. Playing a tough opponent in Week 1 would have been asking for trouble. It’s smart to start light. That said, USC needs to get some value from this game. Players need to get thrown into the fire. They need to learn from this game and how they can perform their assignments even better. If something goes wrong, players need to learn how to respond properly.

It’s easy to want a smooth ride in this game, but in order for this team to grow, it will need to grasp how to adjust when a negative turn of events emerges. By all means have a good time and win big, but learn some lessons along the way. That would make a good Week 1 for USC.

We discussed this with Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire