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The USC Trojans are closing in on a deal to make Todd Orlando their defensive coordinator. Orlando was the defensive coordinator at Texas the last three seasons before getting fired. Orlando had been hired to be Texas Tech linebackers and assistant head coach before working on a deal with USC.

Before coaching defense at Texas, Orlando was the defensive coordinator at Connecticut from 2005-2010, FIU 2011-2012, Utah 2013-2014, and Houston 2015-2016.

Utah State And Houston

While at Utah State, Orlando’s defense ranked 12th in 2013 and 30th in 2014 in total yards per game.

In Houston, in 2016, the defense was ranked 13th in total yardage per game. Orlando had some pretty solid defenses before coming to Texas; he was considered the next young bright defensive mind.


In Orlando’s first season as defensive coordinator at Texas, the defense ranked 43rd in total defense giving up 336 yards per game, and they gave up 21 points per game. In 2018, the Texas defense slipped to 67th, giving up 395 yards per game and 25.9 points per game. In this past season, the Longhorns defense was flat out bad, ranking 96th giving up 431 yards per game, and 27.5 points per game. That pretty much signaled the end for Orlando in Texas. The Longhorns had trouble pressuring the quarterback but also had an injury-plagued secondary.

USC defense struggled; also, they were ranked 77th, giving up 408.5 yards and 29.4 points per game. After the season, USC said they were moving on from Clancy Pendergast.

Todd Orlando Scheme

The hiring of Todd Orlando would be an interesting one; his base defense is 3-4, and he also likes to use quarters coverage. Another favorite of Orlando is the 3-3-5 defense. Three defensive lineman, thee linebackers, and five defensive backs.

Quarters coverage is a four-deep, three-under zone defense that uses man-to-man principles while creating opportunities for both safeties to double or bracket receivers. Over the past couple of seasons, Orlando has utilized the blitz a lot more, he is known to blitz from just about anywhere.

I’m not to sold on this hire for USC, as I feel they could have gotten a better defensive coordinator. Orlando’s defenses have been trending downwards over the past three seasons, but only time will tell if this can work out for the Trojans. Maybe Orlando can prove us all wrong.

USC Trojans And The LA Coliseum. Photo Credit: Eric Chan | Under Creative Commons License

USC Trojans And The LA Coliseum. Photo Credit: Eric Chan | Under Creative Commons License

Lamarr Fields

Author Lamarr Fields

I am a big-time sports fan. I love basketball, baseball, football (college and pro). My teams are the Raiders, Lakers, and SF Giants. I am covering USC football for Sports Al Dente.

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