Morning Buzz: USC Needs Deep Threat To Complete Offense

USC has a star quarterback, talented running backs and a go-to wide receiver (Deontay Burnett). But do the Trojans have a consistent deep-threat wide receiver? That is the question I examine today.

Excerpt: With no wide receivers emerging as stars during training camp, it might make sense for defenses to force USC to prove it can throw deep. That would also be ideal for a defense because it could focus on stopping the run and short passes.

As is often the case at USC, the receivers’ recruiting rankings are currently ahead of their performances. During USC’s second scrimmage last week, there was frustration between Darnold and his young corps of receivers.

Full story here

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  • Alvarado

    Posted early last year the comments made by Marcus Allen when interviewed on PMS of what makes a teams O line motivated and ready is a solid skilled power back – the line works to open bigger holes for the power back because they know he’ll hit them and advance the line. Allen as much as said they like it even more than an aggressive passing attack because it wears out the other side’s D line and their morale.

    USC was called Tailback U for a reason – find that tailback and watch in awe!

    • The USC Heisman 7

      Carr is that guy, the staff loves the kid…and he can run…he has had a great camp… The WR group has several guys who will be really good at moving the ball down field.. Burnett will be a go to guy…The WR group will better than advertised..

      • Gabby

        Bring back Thunder & Lighting. I truly miss those days.

        • The USC Heisman 7

          A fun combo to watch…I also like the White Allen years..

        • Michael Guarino

          I think the NCAA would be offended if we brought back “Lightning”.

          • Gabby

            Reincarnated!

            (Is that you, Bucket?)

          • Michael Guarino

            Yes.

          • Gabby

            ….Have you moved up from the single-wide?

          • Michael Guarino

            ….Need to recover from reincarnation first.
            #ReincarnatedAndItFeelsSoGood

        • UCLA Dynasty

          It’s amazing the talent you get when your coach is buying houses and weed for players.

          • Pete

            Oh ya baby. Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing….Fight On!

          • Michael Guarino

            Truly helpful insights, UCLA! I remember thinking at the time, “When is Carroll gonna stop personally buying houses for all his players?” And I won’t even go into how disgusted I was with his dealing weed in public. Thanks for reminding us.

          • hoohoolianFUCLA

            The most impressive part is how Carroll commutes from Seattle to continue the very same practices. Not one fewer person has to go without free houses or weed since he moved up north.

          • Michael Guarino

            It’s so amazing that he continues to get away with it….

          • Ben Factor

            Thoughts on your Raiders?

          • Gabby

            who you talking about, Willis?

          • Pasadena Trojan

            Oh, you are talking about Johnny Cheetin’ Wooden, but this is a USC sight and we are talking about football.

      • Ben Factor

        Success comes from evaluating what IS, and making the most of it. I agree with you that a few good WRs will emerge, and that USC has 2-3 RBs who catch very well (P.S. Marcus Allen caught well, at least in the NFL).

        Are the CFB rules unchanged in the last 50 years, or have they changed with the NFL rules? I assume the latter, but please correct me if I’m
        wrong.

        The problems with the USC OL are unlikely to be solved by ANY RB. It takes longer to develop OLs, so the sanction hangover will hinder that position group for longer.

        The best strategy is not constant in the context of changing rules, plus it fluctuates as well with the constraints of personnel. Consider: Toa may be excellent, but he’s not a natural OT, and he hasn’t finished a season in the last two years. Both of those issues are significant.

        USC will succeed best by making sure that SD becomes an expert at reading defenses, seizing the low-hanging fruit in every situation, and developing effective play series–burning an opposing D a few times on one sort play, then exploiting the D’s anticipation of a repeat, by installing effective counter-plays.

        Marcus Allen played in a time of USC’s greatest personnel superiority within its conference. In general, in 2017, recruits want to play right away, which dilutes any program’s superiority, and the players who become stars don’t hang longer than they need to. In general, that’s just how it is.

        IMO, CLICHES about TB U or WR U are pointless. Acceptance of today’s circumstances and rules, improved teaching and player development, and prudent adjustment are the ways to go.

        Like it or not, SD is at USC NOW, not in 2019, when the OL group will very likely be stronger, and not in December, 2017, when the WR group may may look quite different. How can those realities best be accommodated?

        • The USC Heisman 7

          Sounds like you know more than me.. But yes your right on your thoughts..

  • Ray

    Nice article SW.

  • SCgrad12

    According to Wolf, USC should turn in their gear this morning because the season is already over. The funniest thing about your thread; “the question I examine today”. Yeah, Wolf, like you’re the end all, be all of college football analysis.

    • Gabby

      Wolf lacks the skills to analyze anything more than a donut

      • Grammymb

        And yet, both of you clowns are reading his blog.

        • Gabby

          consider yourself guilty by association

          • gotroy22

            If someone doesn’t like your whining there must be something wrong with them, not you.

          • Michael Guarino

            These criticisms grow out of the ‘kill the messenger’ school of thought. Scott was the first to point out that Kiffin was a petulant brat. Scott was the guy who complained when Sark was given the keys to the car. It was Scott who pointed out that Sam was better equipped to lead the team than Max. He will never be forgiven by some readers for being right about this stuff.
            By the way, Scott is right again: if USC finds a guy who can consistently get behind defenders on the deep ball, we’ll be nearly unbeatable.

          • Gabby

            The truth about wolf can be hard for some to swallow. not you

          • gotroy22

            And you are an expert on swallowing.

          • Gabby

            It pays the bills (LOL!!!)

          • Grammymb

            You nitwits continue to incessantly (yes, look it up) bitch about Scott Wolf but continue to show up every day reading his blog. Go find another sand box.

          • Gabby

            I come here to read the comments not drink the koolaide.

          • gotroy22

            Sure you do.

          • Gabby

            Been a visitor of this site for years, but not a fan of the wolfman

          • Pudly76

            Shameful as it is to admit, I come for the pictures…

        • Jack B

          We’re SC fans and we love Trojan football. Attendance here has nothing to do with SW.

          I will say, however, that I enjoyed seeing the names of the program-listed starters for both teams in the famous 1967 21-20 O.J. romp that killed off the bruins for the next half century. Kudos for SW for that.

          • 88 Straight

            The loss at Miami in 1998 was much more devastating to the program than the 1967 loss to SC, IMO. That game started a downward spiral that the program has yet to recover from.

          • SCgrad12

            The other program it devastated was Arizona. If UCLA had gone to the NC game, UofA would’ve gone to it’s first Rose Bowl, and changed the image of that program. As it stands now there is no chance they ever will get to a RB.

          • Jack B

            “Much more devastating”. Ya, right.

            Your 1998 team absolutely stunk on defense. MIA, which had been absolutely slaughtered the week before by SYRA (66-13) and was just a mediocre outfit at best (still reeling from NCAA sanctions), mopped the floor with you and hung 49 on the scoreboard. WIS turned around and put up 38 on you in the Rose Bowl.

            You just want to hang it on this contest because if was MIA that did the damage. You really weren’t that good which is why mediocre MIA tooled you little gutties. Just a paper tiger with severe internal team problems and a truly mediocre coach – Tolardo.

            When O.J. busted your chops in ’67, USC, filled with awesome talent, won the Rose Bowl and the NC that year. You had Beban and some amazing personnel on that team. Prothro was a super heady coach, though he never even took ucla to another bowl after 21-20. Still, had you beat USC in ’67, that would have been 3-straight for Prothro over McKay. You would undoubtedly have gone on to win the NC, but USC took it from you.

            No, it was USC that started your big spiral when O.J. broke your back 50 years ago. Aside from your 8-game USC streak (it’s always about USC for ucla) and some good, but often just decent Donahue teams, ucla football has done nothing since 21-20. Nothing. And you sit in the same crappy spot today.

          • The USC Heisman 7

            Doing nothing! Lol

          • 88 Straight

            The 1967 game was a fantastic game and I’m sure the favorite game for SC fans that were around then. I was at that game as a 12-year old and even on the losing side will admit that it was a great game.

            What backs up my position is comparing the 20 years following the 1967 loss and the nearly 20 years after the Miami game. There is simply no camparison comparing the records and Rose Bowl wins in the 20 years after 1967. UCLA hasn’t sniffed squat since the Miami loss. I’m not basing it on SC’s success, although our record against SC was better post ’67 as well. That’s what I have based my opinion on, whether you agree or disagree.

          • JustOwns

            The original game was canx’d due to Hurricane weather and Dalis degreed the Bruins should travel to Miami for the unnecessary make-up game.

            The week prior to the r/s’d game, Miami lost a game to Pittsburgh (?) 50 – 0 or worse.

            The stench of P. Dalis stupid decision to demand the r/s’d game and Toledo’s inability to manage an unruly Bruin FB team cost the program dearly.

          • Pasadena Trojan

            Shut your pie hole

          • marvgoux1

            Dalis was a nobody rec center monitor who Peter Principled himself into the AD job. Once there he fired your championship basketball coach Harrick over a $100 steak dinner. No wonder your athletic program major sports have been in the dumpster ever since.Yet you f uuclans just put your worst AD ever in your Hall of Fame.

          • Clay Russell

            It’s too bad the original game got blown out. The Bruins were a really fun team to watch that year. You guys also dropped a game to Norte Dame that was somewhat devastating to me.

          • Pasadena Trojan

            Disagree 88. ucla back in 1967 realized who was king in football here in LA. When you are ranked #1 in the nation and you see the chance to finally grab a foothold in the city and then to see it disappear, that just destroys a program and it sinks in that they aren’t as good as SC. They had a shot and blew it.

          • Jack B

            USC went on to massive football glory, over and over again, after 21-20. The last 50 years have seen numerous SC NCs and elite-ranked teams.

            ucla accomplished nothing after 21-20. USC just casts too big a shadow in L,A. And now that shadow has never been longer nor darker for ucla. Even Rosen, the so-called ucla program savior, has been a disappointment while Golden Boy Sam Darnold has taken over the city. It seems like everything ucla football touches turns to crap.

          • Gabby

            Touche!! (urban)

  • Hector of Troy

    Martin has said Velus Jones has the speed to stretch the field and if he is healthy Steven Mitchell is fast.

    • Michael Guarino

      Stephen is definitely the kind of receiver Scott is talking about —-and it would be great to have him in the lineup for those big games against Stanford and Texas. Speed, good hands and plenty of experience. Hope he can stay healthy.

  • Jeffrey Showalter

    “As is often the case at USC, the receivers’ recruiting rankings are currently ahead of their performances.” Ya think that maybe this is the reason why USC takes so many receivers? Think it through, Scott.

    • Gabby

      The guy was born with a glass half empty

  • David Keeling

    Get Velus out at WR and let him just run straight a few times a game to stretch the defensive field coverage at least. That will put fear in most defensive coordinators (especially with Darnold’s arm). Then Velus can play decoy on more plays and make defenses paranoid.

  • Rabb

    Coach SW at it yet again. SC can’t do this, they can’t do that, they don’t have this, they don’t have that. blah blah blah.

  • Peaceful Warrior

    Forget the analytics the statue is being unveiled today. Long live Hecuba!

    • Jack B

      Hah, hah. SW is having a fit over this. Wonder how many Hecuba posts we’ll have this year? Over 20?

      • Michael Guarino

        We’ve ALREADY had over 20, Jack.
        #AndTheYear’sYoung

  • LamontRaymond

    Someone hasn’t been listening (or watching) at practice. Two names for you: Vaughns & (Velus) Jones.

  • Clay Russell

    Looking at this group of receivers, I’m confident we’ll be able to find people who can learn the playbook, get open, catch passes and run in the open field. All USC has been doing the last few years is putting great athletes at receiver and making it work anyway. Juju and Marquis Lee weren’t great pure receivers. In fact, although he was the least gifted athletically, Robert Woods was the best pure receiver of the 3 IMO. There are several guys on the team who appear to have the potential to be better pure receivers than all 3 of those guys. This to me is more about guys learning the playbook and getting reps in with the QBs. Is there a more talented group of receivers assembled on any college campus in the country??

    As far as the lack of a deep threat, it’s nothing a strong, committed running game and some play action won’t cure. We have the horses.

    • Michael Guarino

      Totally right about Woods, in my opinion, Clay. Great hands, superb route runner and always a team-first player (who even threw a block when he had to). Kinda amazing that he isn’t mentioned more often when the subject of ‘star receivers’ comes up.

      • Clay Russell

        It’s the physical gifts that always catches our eyes. We have a primal recognition and respect for above average athleticism and physical stature. Those are the things we look for and RW didn’t have that relative to ML and Juju.

        I actually see Deontay Burnett (Allegedly our best receiver) as kind of possession guy, especially on the next level. He may be our most polished/well-versed receiver and have the best rapport with Sam, but guys behind him have higher ceilings because of ther physical gifts. I really think we’ll be fine at WR.

        • Michael Guarino

          Deontay won everybody over with that Rose Bowl performance —he broke open every single time Sam needed him to. He’s also tough and team oriented. As for the rest of the pieces —-if Stephen Mitchell can stay healthy through the first few games, we’ll have plenty of guys ready to go in and do their thing by the time of the Washington State game .

          • Clay Russell

            Deontay did a great job getting open, but if you weren’t talking about him being a Biletnikoff candidate before the Rose Bowl, you shouldn’t be talking about it after the RB.

  • Trojan96

    Look it bugs me when SW provides a negative slant on his stories, but SW is right that we need a consistent deep threat to keep the defense on its heels. Mitchell and Jones can be those WRs to do just that. Also if we run the ball a lot this year, it will force teams to play cover 1 which could create a mismatch on our TEs. The great thing about Sam is that he has no problem spreading out the ball.

    I think we will be fine. We will know within a month. Fight On!