Season-Ending Report Card

Here are my final season grades for USC:

RECORD: 10-2, 7-2
SEASON GPA: B

QUARTERBACK

Matt Barkley finally lived up to the high school hype. His 39 touchdown passes set a school record but fans only know they want him back for one more season

A-

RUNNING BACKS

No one anticipated Curtis McNeal would turn into the second coming of Jacquizz Rogers. When Marc Tyler injured his shoulder, USC actually got more dangerous at tailback.

B

WIDE RECEIVERS

Sometimes being lucky is better than being smart. USC held off giving Marqise Lee a scholarship but look like geniuses today with Lee and Robert Woods.

A

OFFENSIVE LINE

Lane Kiffin offered them few compliments but they exceeded all expectations and allowed less sacks (eight) than all but three teams in the nation. But will Matt Kalil return?

B-

DEFENSIVE LINE

This was supposed to be the best group on the team but only Nick Perry (9.5 sacks) really came through with a big season. Defensive tackle George Uko could be a top playmaker next year.

B-

LINEBACKERS

Lane Kiffin said the insertion of Lamar Dawson late in the season made defense dominating. But it was really outside linebackers Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard that made most of the plays.

B

DEFENSIVE BACKS

There were real problems finding a starting cornerback until Isiah Wiley took over midway through the season. Will Bailey shift to safety next season to replace T.J. McDonald?

C+

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker Andre Heidari and punter Kyle Negrete enjoyed excellent seasons. The only drawback was the coaches always patting themselves on the back for doing a good job.

B

COACHING

Everything is about end results and a 10-2 season makes everyone happy. Does this mean Lane Kiffin was wrong when he belittled the talent on his roster?

B-

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  • masonite

    I agree Uko was kind of an unsung standout and look forward to him in the starting lineup next year. We need another DT – hopefully Armstead comes back. J.R. Tavai can be a good sub here.

    I think Dawson will be good, but I didn’t really see it this year at all. He seems to be a favorite of Kiffin, but I’m not sure he has shown much during the games yet. Pullard and Bailey were the surprise stars of the defense.

  • scidiot

    masonite,

    Disagree on Dawson. He made the defense much better.
    The end of the year scorecard seems a lot fairer than each game. Someone needs to go back and average the scores so we can see the difference.

  • Ghostt of CharIie Bucket

    wolfman, you constantly amaze with your knowledge of Southern Cal sports!! And i do believe you have forgotten more about it than the combined Nabobs, Dummies and Bullies will ever know!!

    you did not get swept up in the Superbowl of Hyperbole that occurred at the end of the season! wolfman, you recognize that in the final analysis, while Southern Cal did do a good job of not losing to lesser teams, they did lose two out of three games to ranked teams, and it would have been 3 out of 3 if OR had a decent kicker! hardly the “Top 3″ blather that spewed so vociferously from the desperate trOXan faithful!!

    and your grades are dead on correct as usual!!! the Pious Passer does not merit an A because, as we have discussed extensively, he NEVER led a comeback victory in his 3 yrs at Southern Cal (OSU dont count)!!! That includes all the games they won and the 11 they lost in that 3 yrs!! that is an astonishing stat, considering the Bruins crazy-eyed scatter-armed QB led them to 3 dramatic come from behind wins this year alone!!!

    Keep oooooooon scoooopin’, wolfman!!!

  • Trojan Conquest

    Coaching B-, Season GPA B
    These grades are a joke. Did anyone pick 10-2 before the season? How about ending the season by beating the Pac 12 South representative 50-0? The best I remember people predicting was 9-3. I picked 8-4, with losses to Oregon, Stanford, Notre Dame, and someone else like an ASU. 10-2 didn’t happen because of mediocre coaching.

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    Bucket, would you rather have a quarterback that can pull off a comeback every once in a blue moon or a quarterback who puts his team in the lead to where they dont have to come from behind more often than not? I’d take the latter. But you’re right, Prince is definitely heisman worthy.

  • Gillyking

    @TC.. Agree with you. LK should be high on the list of national coach of the year actually!

  • USC owns the Rose Bowl

    Ghostt of CharIie Bucket:

    In all seriousness, I sometimes enjoy the things you write here but now you’re starting to look pathetic. The entire nation knows now that USC is a Top-5 team. What do you get out of coming here? Trying to salvage any remaining hope that USC fans will take anything you say seriously and actually look at their football team even slightly negatively? It’s sad. Trojan fans see that USC: 1. Took Top-5 Stanford to Triple-OT. 2. Beat Top-5 Oregon @ Autzen. 3. Finished the season 10-2 after starting it (somewhat) in obscurity due to an 8-5 record last season (which UCLA would certainly LOVE to have). 4. Whipping UCLA 50-0 and finishing the season atop the Pac-12 South standings (enjoy the default “first place” finish that the Utes helped you back into) and 5. Go into 2012 as a national championship contender YET AGAIN!

    So again, tell me, why are you wasting your time here? What do you gain? Is it just to humor us? Of course, I don’t expect a response from you. Nobody as sad and pathetic that spends the time writing the things you do all day everyday would have the balls to actually answer these questions.

    So with that I say good luck at Autzen and don’t embarrass yourselves toooooo much, bRuins!!! Congrats on winning the division, you guys were great!!!
    AUUUUUUUUUUU-WOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Enjoy thinking about USC all offseason, trolls!

    FIGHT ON!

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here

    I think Ghostt is not the real Chuck Bucker but an impostor looking to steal some of Charlize’s pub. It’s funny because I banned Charlize from this blog after she ran out of Nueheisel Nickels by betting on UCLA to cover the spread against USC…

  • Trojan 70

    Who really cares what Bucket says? He is like some lounge act in downtown Vegas. Not good, not funny very often, just there taking up space. And now that we know what he looks like – it is really kind of sad. What a dream job for a shrink.

  • huntingtonharvey

    10-2 and the team gets an B? Coaching a B-?
    Plus, how can Barkley and the WR average an A-/A for the season when they were consistently making non-A grades in Wolf’s game-by-game grades. Further proof that Wolf’s grading system is a joke.

    Team: A- (peaked at the end, which was saved them from a B+)
    QB: A (missed A+ due to melt down in Tempe)
    RB: B+ (McNeil really emerged here and had some key break away runs, but Tyler didn’t provide near the bruising back or 1,000 yrd. performance we expected).
    WR: A+ (two best WR in the country with the potential to be one of the best tandems ever).
    Off. Line: A- (pass protection was stellar but run blocking needs to be a bit more dominant).

    Def. Line: B (solid but disappointing lack of dominance from what was touted to be the most talented unit on the team).
    Linebackers: A (really surprising. future looks extremely bright with a quick, solid tackling unit that plays disciplined football).
    Safeties: B (a loss of TJ McDonald could be very troublesome as he was the only sure tackling and consistently well-positioned member in the group).
    Corners: B- (Nickell Robey is a hard-hitting stud esp. for his size, but size still hampers this unit as does depth).

    Spec. Teams: A- (Kick-off coverage needs to improve and we need more positive yardage from what should be an explosive punt return unit. Both field goal unit teams were excellent. Punter was great with some excellent coffin corner kicks and high hang time).

  • USC owns the Rose Bowl

    Wow. No balls (as expected). Dweeb.

  • Ghostt of CharIie Bucket

    Owns: easy, easy! peace, brother!!

    i don’t really disagree with any of your main points. without the Pious Passer however, the dream of a Champeenship next year is a non-starter. Kiff had a choice between padding the Pious One’s stats and getting Kessler (or whomever) any game reps whatsoever. his choice will cost you 3 wins next year. with PP, Champeenship contenders, no doubt. without him, a good team, i’d say 8-5 or 9-4.

    as to why i’m here so much….i have a very boring life in the candy business, so i come on here to pass the time. i work all hours mostly online, so i may be on here anytime. i think fast i act fast and i type fast and my posts usually take about one minute to type if that!!

    lastly, this blog makes me feel so ALIVE!!!!

    how can that be wrong, when it feels so RIGHT???

  • Carlos

    If barkley is an A- then which QB in the nation deserves an A+ or even an A?

  • bushwhite

    err …jeezis I thought I was overly critical.

    B- For an offensive line that allowed .6 sacks per game? one of the best in the country??

    Another B grade for a defensive line that shut down Oregon’s attack?

    wow

    I MIGHT go with the C+ for DB’s as they still have a little work to do but even that is pretty harsh..