USC-Utah Report Card

Here are the grades for Thursday’s game.

RESULT: No. 13 USC 38, Utah 28
RECORD: 4-1, 2-1


Matt Barkley threw no interceptions for first time since season opener.



Where would USC be this season without Silas Redd?



Marqise Lee pretty much rescues the game plan on a weekly basis.



Khaled Holmes endured a center’s nightmare but survived.



From nine sacks against Cal to no sacks against Utah but Morgan Breslin good again.



Hayes Pullard’s seven tackles and forced fumble almost standard for him.



Each game proves Isiah Wiley’s ineligibility is the biggest blow of season.



Why does USC commit so many penalties on its punt teams?



Fans expected that 83-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee well before fifth game.


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  • TrojanInMichigan

    A D+ for O-Linemen? I get that the fumbles were terrible, and that there were 2-3 holding calls, but your decent QB grade sort of speaks to the contradiction – no sacks, and a rally. Barkley even had time for seven step drops in the second half. This against supposedly one of the most disruptive D-lines in the conference. I thought Holmes and the O-Guards in particular rebounded well in the game. Loutelelei opened dynamically and then he was a non-entity the rest of the game (3 tackles all game?).

    Also, what’s with this mythical review of Isiah Wiley? He was alright, but he was never tested the way EVERY team is testing the CB opposite Robey this year. Teams actually threw at Robey last year, and not because Wiley was so good. I think this is a bit of revisionist history to suggest that it was because of Wiley that things were even. SC’s secondary was terrible Robey’s freshman year, and it was only last year that he started to assert himself as a dynamic CB, particularly after he hut down Michael Floyd at Notre Dame. Plus, somehow their 5 and 6 DB packages held up last year against Oregon. I think part of the problem is over-coaching, treating the DB position like the RB position: every time someone screws up, Kiff yanks them. Someone like Kevon Seymour needs time to grow, to screw up and try and play through it. Torin Harris looks lost out there – evidence of his being away from the game for more than a year. With his size, I’d rather have him in Nickel packages.

    Shaw to CB is a good move – reminiscent of what PC used to do (just get the best athlete out there and let him figure it out, a la marcell almond). But again, I disagree that Wiley was, or would be now, some kind of cure-all. QBs would be throwing at him a TON right now, and I think he would be getting exposed a bit too.

  • steve49

    ^^^^^Great points, perhaps you should take over and let Wolf try gardening or something less strenuous.

  • Bri12

    Well put, I agree completely with Wiley and the short coaching patience at corner.. It would be nice to have wiley this year, but the field opposite Robey is where everyone will attack..
    And most likely Wiley would get a workout like the rest.

    The O-line is still soft & sloppy in my opinion but they actually improved throughout the 2nd half when they man’d up and blocked for those passes down the middle. I have been frustrated with Kiffins all slant/screen pass game this year, but I’m starting to realize he knew the O-line was the teams weak spot and didn’t want them exposed early.. So he went with limited quick passes as long as he could… Naturally the Oline will improve as season goes on but with the Holmes injury another wrench gets thrown in…

  • Evil Robot

    Marquise Lee has been thrown to one the first offensive play of the game 4 times, in the other one they threw to him on the fourth play. He is the game plan, how exactly can he be “saving” it each week? What exactly do you think the game plan is, get McNeal 30 carries then get it to Flournoy deep?

  • Trojan Conquest

    TrojaninMichigan…good points, but the team and D started playing much better after Harris was injured and Wiley started.
    I’m never even confused as a big Barkley fan, but that was his best game and should get an A.

  • Goatboy Kiffin

    Goat Kiffin gets a D … his playing calling still sucked and way to have your team ready to play … 2 fumbles and dropped pick on 1st 3 possessions.
    Good thing Utah is one shitty team


    Yup…another brilliant contribution by the Sheepboy. 42 points wasn’t good enough? Good call! Can’t wait for Cal to wax the Bruins tonight.


    Where are all the Bruin fans? I need more stats on how good they are. Here’s one stat they should be familiar with. 8th place in the PAC12. Oh…and 50-0!

  • SCSurfsChurches

    “Fans expected that 83-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee well before fifth game.” D+ for Coaching
    Wouldn’t this be a reason why the Coaches grade would be lower in each of the first 4 games not this game. Keep trying Wolfey.
    But do agree what has SC been doing running the bubble screen on 75% of their pass attempts up until this game

  • Ben Factor

    I second Trojan Conquest and Wolf. Because of Morgan Breslin’s emergence, Redd’s transfer, and Harris’s slow comeback from his injury, the ineligibility of Wiley has been the single most important casualty of 2012. Of course, the year’s not over yet. šŸ™‚

    Wiley played pretty well last year, he look good in the Spring, and it’s too bad he didn’t pass his classes. I’m sure that MK would concur in that opinion.

    Scott is a hard grader every week. I wonder if he learned that while at USC?

  • dtksr1

    I wonder what game some of the posters were watching? It certainly wasn’t the Utah-USC game I saw. The game was sloppy. Holmes miscues the first few plays down-graded the O-line right there alone. Why didn’t another lineman calm him down. He was so animated it seemed he was hyperventilating rushing to the line of scrimmage and looking at the defense as he did. He was lucky he didn’t get procedure penalties. The center needs to be the calm one along with the QB. Let the RBs or the WRs act like they are spaced out! As for the penalties, as soon as a player does something dumb, he should immediately go to the sidelines where a coach is waiting for him to ask which side are you playing for, because you just gave them 15 yards? If Utah had been better on offense, this would have been a scary game because the trojan players let Utah stay in the game way too long!