The biggest difference for USC this season defensively is probably not the 5-2 formation, which is basically a 3-4. But Clancy Pendergast’s system requires a lot less thinking and more playing, which means players will not be worried as much as last year about doing the right thing.
It means players like Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin can do things that come natural to them and not worry about 10 things before the snap. That alone should lead to more instinctive plays.
UPDATED: And another reason it will be faster is because defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast will send in signals quicker than Monte Kiffin.