Well, it took me 2 days but I finally made it through all of the USC game. I can only wonder how many times I would watch it if it wasn’t a busy week. Anyway, I came away with a few more thoughts that I’ll share before putting this game to rest and moving on to this week’s opponent, Arizona State.
- Let’s start with the worst part of the game, the rushing defense. There’s no denying that they were terrible. After watching it again, it was very clear that the problems weren’t because of a lack of schemes. They tried just about everything. They put at least 8 guys in the box every time. I counted 10 guys in the box for several plays. 10 guys! They also tried a 3-4 several times to be a little more athletic. The problem was with what was happening on the field. The defensive line was terrible. Ta’amu played a decent game, but the rest of the defensive line was awful. There were guys getting pushed back 5-10 yards every play. Then, the linebackers seemed a bit timid. They didn’t attack the runner for most of the game, they let the runner come to them. By the time the runner got there, those linebackers were blocked. I understand that they can’t completely sell out against the run because they have to watch for play-action, but their reaction time does need to be quicker. Last but not least, the tackling was terrible. It was just as bad as it was against Nebraska, if not worse. I was on a mission to count the missed tackles but I lost track. I lost track at the end of the first quarter.
- One more negative thought on the defense before we move to brighter spots. I think several players had the worst game of their career on Saturday. Nate Fellner had one great pass break-up, but the rest of the game he struggled. He was sucked into the wrong position and missed quite a few tackles. Quinton Richardson missed an easy sack on Barkley because he forgot he had arms on the play. He was taken out after that, I’ll be interested to see if he plays as much the rest of this season. Where is Adam Long? Cort Dennison looked a little rusty and slow after missing the Nebraska game. Those players, along with the defensive line, were beaten up pretty well on Saturday. Thank goodness we have Mason Foster.
- With all that, give credit to the defense for not allowing a touchdown in the 4th quarter. They buckled down and made some stops. There’s no doubt they need to get better, but they made some plays that kept the Huskies in the game.
More thoughts after the jump. Continue reading