Will The USC Trojans Defense Continue To Be A Problem?
We all know Lincoln Riley is an offensive guru whose offenses have put up video game-like numbers. However the same can’t be said for the defenses he’s dealt with. Obviously, he’s not the only one to blame, but, many believe it’s what prevented Riley from making it to the championship, and the Trojans defense could hold USC back.
By now I’m sure you’ve seen the spring game highlights of Caleb Williams and the Trojans easing their way down the field without too much of a fight. It’s always hard to draw conclusions or feel too good about one side of the ball because subsequently, that means the opposite side of the ball didn’t look as good. Now for what it’s worth I think it’s a good thing the offense is the one that looked as good as it did this early on.
Coach Riley has been notorious for having otherworldly offenses but very lackluster defenses, to say the least. Sure, with the way the game is played today, that should keep you in games. Nonetheless, this voids your ability to make mistakes against a more well-rounded squad.
Throughout Riley’s five years at Oklahoma, his defensive efficiency rate has not finished above fifth place in the Big 12. This is a huge problem considering, as of only recently, have the defenses in the conference gotten better.
We can assume Riley will receive similar if not, even more talent at USC given recent success in commits and in the transfer portal. Riley brought a majority of his previous coaching staff and an experienced corner in Latrell McCutchin. Lincoln also has CB, DL, and LB transfers from Kansas State, Alabama, Arizona State, and Colorado. Luckily these are all positions the Trojans lacked depth with. His most recent transfer portal flip was former Wyoming DE Solomon Byrd who recently flipped to USC from Georgia Tech.
There is still plenty of time for more players to transfer to USC to give them even more depth at positions they haven’t necessarily had in previous years. Hopefully new Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch will be able to put this mixture of transfers and previous Trojan players in the best position to make a play.
College football is all about high-flying offenses that put up numbers. However, as we saw from the Georgia Bulldogs last year, defense is what separates winners from champions.