USC-Syracuse Report Card

Here are the grades for Saturday’s game in New Jersey.

RESULT: No. 2 USC 42, SYRACUSE 29
RECORD: 2-0
WEEK 2 GPA: C+

QUARTERBACK

If there is a quiet six-touchdown game, Matt Barkley had one.

B

RUNNING BACKS

Silas Redd lives up to hype while Curtis McNeal rebounded from Game 1.

B+

WIDE RECEIVERS

Robert Woods and Marqise Lee caught with 21 of Barkley’s 23 completions.

A+

OFFENSIVE LINE

Inconsistent at best and now the center position is depleted by injury.

D+

DEFENSIVE LINE

Morgan Breslin already best defensive lineman after only two games.

B

LINEBACKERS

Deon Bailey’s two interceptions already matches last season’s total.

B-

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Why didn’t USC make sure Isiah Wiley was eligible this season?

D-

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker Alex Wood does job; Punt team gets another delay of game.

C-

COACHING

Sometimes the game plan looks like USC is playing not to lose.

D+

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  • BoscoH

    About right. I’d go A/A- on the wide receivers because that INT was partly Woods’ fault and he’s usually very good about protecting the catch window from defenders. See the Hawaii TD catch. Still, a great game by Lee and Woods, and a monster catch and run for TD by Grimble. What a beast!

    Special teams, I’ll say B. The delay of game didn’t hurt anything and Negrete caused a tornado in Queens.

    Coaching, I give Kiffin a “Pass”. We won’t see another QB of Nassib’s calibre the rest of the season. He will definitely hold a clipboard for many future Sundays, maybe more.

  • The Monopoly is Over Here 2.0

    Alright, Kiff went down to a D+, now we’re talking Wolf! Getting ready for that big fat F next week?

  • DT-89

    I defend Wolf because I like his skeptical eye towards the team and the program — we need it. But these grades (as usual) seem harsh.

    If Syracuse had beaten us 42-29, I suppose the “Coaching” grade would have been “F.” But a 42-29 win gets a D+.

    We need to reconsider the moment-to-moment assessment of football teams and games. Every team is different, it’s a very long season and most every team doesn’t play anywhere near their best every week. Since we’re obviously thin, I hope ‘SC paces itself.

    Of course I’d like to see us perform with excellence every quarter and every game. But it’s not the way we operate.

    Last Saturday, Alabama rushed 31 times for an average of barely three yards per carry against Western Kentucky. While I’m sure their Scott Wolf is giving ‘Bama’s running backs a D- grade for the game, does anybody think their ground game is in crisis?

    The bottom line is: We don’t need to be better than Alabama this Saturday … we only need to be better than Stanford.

  • Sam Gilbert

    Solid points by Bosco and DT-89.

    Does anyone have theories on all the short passes?

    I realize with Woods and Lee’s YAC deep passes weren’t really necessary but it still seemed odd. I’ve heard some say the O-line wasn’t giving Barkley enough time but it looked like those short passes were the first option.

  • Bill

    What happened to all the chest pounding? A couple weeks ago, all we heard was just hand the National Championship to Southern Cal and not even play the season! Now, you are talking about “pacing yourself”, accepting “playing not to lose”, “we don’t play that many players in a game, the sanctions didn’t hurt us” and “every team doesn’t play their best every week”! I never heard a Pete Carroll team talk like that! I guess you have to cheat to talk like that! I heard Rick Neuheisel talk like that! Is he your new coach?

    The bowl ban allowed Southern Cal to play without any pressure, and now things sure are different that the pressure is on! I could have predicted that Berkely would crack under the pressure. He is a four year starter and Kitten is playing him like a redshirt freshman! What a wuss!

    Just in case you haven’t noticed, the Pac-12 South has vastly improved, except for Colorado. Syracuse isn’t that good. Southern Cal may be the first “No 1″ team to not play in a bowl game!

    “Play Not to Lose” On!

  • Trojanfan

    Hey Bill, every time you talk, my computer starts to stink

    can you even read a scoreboard?

  • ftfo2009

    You sound like the Republican National Convention Bill. Give me some fucking citations or go kill youself.

  • USC owns the Rose Bowl

    ftfo2009 FTW!!!!!!!

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    oh man, keep your liberal talk on reddit. This blog is bad enough, we dont need political talk on here.

  • NJ Trojan

    3 sacks & 14 TFLs over 2 games is not good. USC is rushing 6.05 ypc & 169.50 ypg. It seems to me USC should be running the ball more. With that kind of ave/carry USC should be rushing for over 250 ypg. And 1 fumble lost in 2 games is pretty darn good. You can complain all you want about dinkin & dunkin & bubble screens but USC is 9th in pass eff & 12th in scoring O. Barkleys thrown 1 int & 10 TDs. Ill take it. 3rd & 4th down conversion is surprisingly mediocre. USC has been outstanding in the RZ though. USC needs more consistency on the OL.

    USCs rushing D is pretty stout but USCs pass eff D is pretty mediocre–just like last year, no? They are getting the sacks & the picks but theyre giving up too many yards & more importantly too many 1st downs. And 19.5 points per game against 2 of your weaker opps is not a good sign. The RZ D is bad.

    USC is giving up way too many penalty yards but turnover margin is good and despite Wolfs complaints re ST USCs ST has gotten good enough to change the game in USCs favor. After seeing these 1st 2 non-conf games I still think USC will lose 2 regular season games.

  • Trojsteve5

    Republicans are bad news while the Trojans are the good guys. Not every Democrat is totally liberal on all issues just not haters like the racist conservatives. Politics in football dealing with the ncaa, and since Kiffin will not discuss injuries that is a political statement. No practice on Mondays so time for some diversion. Let the dissenters begin their tirades.

  • sureshot

    Syracuse is at the very least, a decent team. They completely outgained Northwestern, but lost due to an unfortunate series of events. Northwestern then went and beat Vanderbilt. I know Vandy doesn’t have a great football history, but they’re headed in the right direction now with good coaching and nearly beat the other USC last week.

    I’ll bet Cuse ends up in second or third place in the Big East. Who knows, maybe they’ll win the conference. If they can score like they have the past two games and if they can tackle like they did against SC, I have a feeling the Orangemen will have a very good season.