Experts Clash Over USC Trojans Defense After Spring Game Exhibition

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The USC Trojans have taken great strides toward fixing one of college football’s worst defenses last season. They hired D’Anton Lynn as defensive coordinator, bolstered the defensive staff with high-level coaches, and scored several significant transfers to the defense.

Saturday, April 20th their efforts were put on display for the world for the first time. Two commentators had two very different takeaways from USC’s spring game. Josh Pate of The Late Kick and J.D. PicKell of The Hard Count both gave their reactions to what they saw from the USC defense on Saturday.

USC Trojans Defense According To PicKell

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Tulane at Southern California
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PicKell took a more optimistic view of the proceedings.

“I saw this team play with a lot more confidence defensively. Talk about that a lot during this part of the year. How a new staff. A new voice in that room can just instill energy, new confidence in that building. Also the big part for me, you saw guys in a lot better position to make plays…”

“I still think there’s probably a little bit of ground to be made up there, but ultimately making some plays. Four interceptions yesterday. That has to be encouraging. It has to be. I know it’s a spring game. I know this game doesn’t count for anything. But at the end of the day, man, it’s very, very difficult for me to walk away from that game and hang my head in any way about what that side of the ball was doing.”

The Hard Count with JD PicKell

USC Trojans Defense According To Pate

NCAA Football: Arizona at Southern California
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While Pate’s stance maintained a critical lens

“It did not shock me that in USC’s literal spring game, they didn’t look like the 85 Bears. You kidding? Really? It’s not figured out yet, huh? I admire Lincoln Riley for making this call. They’re gonna be bad defensively again this year. It’s missing a little something. Players! That’s what it’s missing. Time and players.”

“USC was horrific last year. Defensively they were worst in virtually every major defensive statistical category To put another way, they’d have to improve significantly to just be below average defensively this year. They don’t have good enough players right now. I don’t care if Lincoln Riley hired all the right guys and made all the right moves. I got immense respect for Lincoln Riley for doing this doing it right.”

“From this point forward at USC is gonna take a couple of years minimum to get anywhere close to the kind of product on the field that you want. Even if every correct button is pressed at Southern Cal, they will be well below average defensively this year.”

The Late Kick with Josh Pate

Common Ground

While their reactions are polar opposites, both agreed on a few things. 1.)The steps USC has taken this offseason are pointing them in the right direction. 2.) The USC defense will be better 3.) The process of fixing the squad is not finished.

NCAA Football: Southern California at California
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