Spring Analysis

Here’s my look at USC’s strengths and weaknesses as spring concludes:

Upside: Matt Barkley is a year older and some impact freshmen (tailback Dillon Baxter, wide receiver Robert Woods) are expected to shake things up.
Downside: Maybe Barkley won’t improve with age, the offensive line’s depth is a problem and where’s the reliable wide receiver to complement Ronald Johnson?
Key battles: Freshman Seantrel Henderson will push Matt Kalil and Tyron Smith at the tackle position. Nobody knows who will start at tight end (Blake Ayles? Jordan Cameron? Xavier Grimble? And will Allen Bradford finally be the guy at tailback?
Ones to watch: Baxter, Woods, Johnson.

Upside: Assistant coach Ed Orgeron is lucky because the defensive line is among the best in the nation.
Downside: The safeties and one cornerback will be suspect and the depth at linebacker is slightly more than non-existent.
Key battles: Devon Kennard and Chris Galippo are in the highest-profile competition at middle linebacker. T.J. Bryant, Brian Baucham and Torin Harris are trying to win the cornerback spot opposite Shareece Wright. Jawanza Starling and Drew McAllister will be a training camp story to see who starts at safety.
Ones to watch: Nose tackle Jurrell Casey, defensive end Armond Armstead, Wright.

Upside: New special teams coach John Baxter compiled a nation-leading 49 blocked kicks at Fresno State from 2002-2009.
Downside: Kicker Jordan Congdon is gone and USC needs a new snapper for punts.
Key battles: No real competition here. Joe Houston is the kicker and Jake Harfman is the punter. Harfman will handle kickoffs. Baxter needs to find a holder to replace Garrett Green.
Ones to watch: Snapper Chris Pousson will try to handle short-and-long snapping this season for the first time.

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  • douchiedude

    barkley won’t improve with age… he’ll improve with better offensive coaching and a year of experience. stupid.

  • Charlie Bucket

    sweeeeeet scoop wolf! and analysis is dead on…Barks will throw probably 25 INT’s this year with his happy feet (no line) and no Williams or McCoy to deliver him from evil.

    keep ooooooon scoopin’!!!


  • torpedoman

    SW do you really think that anyone around here gives a rats ass as to how YOU analyze the team? LMAO!!! You posted a wonderfully concise wrap on Coach Agustus Octavian’s recent presser that told us everything that you just repeated…but I digress…..WTF……

    How about letting us know if you think that Bob Bradley will be using Clint Dempsey off the bench as a change of pace for Jozy… or starting up top with Landon.

    Tell me if you think that Edson Buddle gets a callup before WC? or if he is just an overrated single dimensional MLS pawn?

    Tell me if you think that Charlie Davies will have the bone structural strength to remain as a top slashing forward or if he’s destined to become a speedy midfielder after his recovery. Hell, what are the odds that he’ll even be fit for the WC?

    Now these types of questions will help your relevancy factor in the blog world SW.
    Fight On