Getting Defensive

Lane Kiffin said last night that USC played well defensively and on special teams but he was disappointed in the offense. Really? The defense gave up 150 yards rushing and if Virginia were a little more skilled passing the ball, it would have really been a panicky situation.
This was not the Hawaii performance but I didn’t see a whole lot different with missed tackles along with missed plays in the secondary. With the next two weeks essentially a vacation (Minnesota, Washington State), things could be dicey when the real Pac-10 teams show up on the schedule.

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  • BoscoH

    I saw a couple players on D starting to shine. Just before the interception, I quipped to my beer drinking pals gathered around the glowing Sony that TJ McDonald needed to come up clutch like his Dad did against Baylor. And Nickell Robey is a baller. If the D-Line can get it together, this defense will grow into a solid unit this year, and lock-down in the next two years.

  • Ben Factor

    A deterioration has been coming for some time:

    (1) I recall a story last year on Rivals.com (female author) documenting USC’s drop in the recruiting rankings over the last few years. Even UCLA in L.A. has gained ground, along with others in the PAC-10, and Notre Dame.

    (2) Kiffin recruited well last year, but lost a few recruits and team members to the sanctions.

    (3) I applaud the USC policy of not over-recruiting for its fairness and concern for the athletes, and at the same time, it hurts because of the sanctions, this year and for three more years.

    (4) It may be an illusion, but there appear to be steadily more programs in the hands of stronger coaches. As a result, failure to improve becomes relative deterioration.

    (5) Regression to the mean is the rule in life, not the exception, and it requires tremendous, focused effort to counteract that force.

    Going forward, USC has to focus on the possible, exploit its strengths, and improve what it can:

    (1) Get the very best teaching position coaches and head coach. The recruits want the NFL. Be the best at training and preparing them. Be on top of the best methods, and incorporate them. Stick to the pro-style offense and defense. It’s better training.

    (2) To a share of young people, L.A. has an appeal relative to Columbus, Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, etc. Sell that hard.

    (3) Don’t exclude the celebrities who are fans–embrace them as something that adds sex appeal to the program (no celebrity has been accused of impropriety).

    (4) The university has improved a lot in overall rank, which is a selling point to parents…and athletes.

    (5) For local recruits, the powerful USC alumni network in So. Cal. should be emphasized–it will help them later in life.

    Attract the best by strategic selling, train them in the best way. The results will then take care of themselves.

    And whose job is it to implement this and assess progress in each area? Pat Haden. Coaches coach. The athletic director has the distance to oversee strategy, investigate better ways, etc.

  • ThaiMex

    Dillon Baxter had an impressive Spring, and now we all know why…everyone looks good running against the Trojan defense.
    Just sayin…

  • Free_Thinker

    Confused ThaiStick – Since you’re not really much of a Mexican, I can’t tell you to stick to soccer. So, just stick it.

  • ThaiMex

    I might be Thai, I could be part Mex, maybe I’m WATCH. Only those within the CADRE know for sure.

    Minn. put up 38 against South Dakota last week in a nail biter…They’re probably good for 31 against Southern Cal.

    This could be your week!

  • NOBS

    Thibeaner, I think you’re 1/2 D and 1/2 BAG.