Closing the book on Oregon

I guess there really isn't much to say...so I am not going to get too crazy here.

I think we have all read the disaster reports from Saturday, so there isn't much to add though there are a few interesting things floating around...

Go here to watch this interesting video...

Click on the video link "Speed Games USC Oregon"

Tell me how bad the defense looked on Saturday... It is worse the second time around, not just the missed tackles but the the lack of speed that the USC defense has in this game.They were getting beat bad.

That is alarming...

 

Here is Pete Carroll's Take...

"I watched it pretty closely and was pretty disappointed in our performance, particularly on defense. We had a game, for the first time that I remember, that got out of hand. It was a statistical nightmare."

Carroll said the one thing he would not do is panic after the lackluster performance, despite USC being only 10 yards shy of tying a 63-year record for most yards allowed in a game (623 by Notre Dame in 1946). Oregon gained 613.

"We're not going to change our philosophy," Carroll said. "We've got to nail down some technique stuff. We have to get our fundamental play down. Like being in the spots you are supposed to be. We've got to get our front seven shaped up."

 

Fundamental play would include making simple tackles. I read elsewhere that if you are out of position it forces you to use your arms and not your whole body, and that is where missed tackles come in. I am not surprised that PC has no plans to change philosophy... one reason no doubt being that it is tough to change things mid-season. He isn't going to a whole different scheme, the changes needed are ones of technique. That is sure piss off a lot of people on the message boards who are calling for changes... I would like to see some tweaks like bringing Taylor Mays up a few yards closer or taking some of the soft zone cushion away but nothing drastic.

One thing that really hasn't been brought up in great detail is that SC has been on the road a lot so far this season. That takes its toll on a young team. I can't remember a road schedule this aggressive in a long time. I will admit that I haven't really analyzed the schedule but there is no question this one has been brutal. I realize that SC has a lot of tough road games this year, but it seems that they aren't spread out enough for the guys to rest.

Maybe it's just me... but I can guarantee that this will raise the discussion with some of having an easier OOC schedule that is closer to home.

Another issue that hasn't really been discussed much here is depth. SC always takes a hit with injuries but we always seem to have depth. This year it is different... especially at linebacker. I noted last week that having Rey, Cush, Clay and Kaluka made it tough to continue recruiting top linebackers because they knew that they were not going to play right away. Couple that with not getting Burfict or Te'o then losing Telfort to his heart condition and all of a sudden we are very thin at LB.

And the news doesn't get any better...

Linebacker Malcolm Smith suffered a shoulder injury that could keep him sidelined indefinitely.

Middle linebacker Chris Galippo and reserve linebacker Jarvis Jones suffered neck sprains and will be evaluated this week.

Defensive lineman Armond Armstead suffered a wrist fracture, and doctors must determine if he is capable of playing with a cast.

And defensive end Everson Griffen suffered a turf toe injury that could limit his effectiveness.

I guess this is USC's year to really handle adversity.

The question is how does the team bounce back from this?

Ben has an interesting take...

What do they do now?

Plain and simple, the Trojans go back to the principles that have worked for the last seven-plus seasons: Practice, tireless work and a trust in the system that's brought consecutive 11-win seasons, conference titles and BCS bowl game appearances since 2002. Knee-jerk reactions are left in the newspapers and on TV, as they don't have any place in the USC football machine. The team will return to its foundations, looking intently at Saturday's issues through a lens that's been crafted over the years of many ups and some downs.

In fact, the recuperation has already started. Coaches spent all Sunday breaking down the tape and also looking to the future, namely the Arizona State game this coming weekend. Players are in strength and conditioning workouts all morning, and the Trojans will come together for meetings starting at 2:15 this afternoon.

The road to redemption and the route to resurgence have begun.

There had better be a lot of introspection from the staff and the players this week. The fans can handle a loss, they can even handle a blow out, but they will not accept and will lose patience very fast if the team that has been so dominant continues to mail it in like we saw the past few weeks.

But all is not lost. SC has to show they are tough enough to bounce back from this one and I think that they have what it takes... but it is not going to be easy. I have taken Ted Miller to task in the past, but I think he does an outstanding job of laying out where SC is at, what they need to do, and what we all need to be mindful of as the team heads in to the last four games of the season.

Every other team in the country has suffered many, many, many double-digit defeats since 2001. Seems like it's about time the Trojans suffered their second.

Of course, there will be blustering about the Trojans being overrated despite the fact they have accomplished more this season than just about any other team in the nation, posting three wins over teams ranked in the current BCS standings, all of them on the road.

Oregon is better than USC. No question. That doesn't mean the Trojans aren't a top-10 team.

And if USC wins the rest of its games and finishes 10-2 -- and Oregon takes care of business and wins the Pac-10 title -- the odds are good that the Trojans still will earn the conference a second BCS bowl berth.

So despair not USC fans!

Or maybe you should.

That defense that gave up (clear throat) 613 yards on Saturday is banged up. Linebacker Malcolm Smith suffered a shoulder injury and won't play this weekend at Arizona State and could be out for weeks. Middle linebacker Chris Galippo and backup strong side linebacker Jarvis Jones suffered neck sprains against the Ducks, which could be issues for a while even if they can play Saturday. Defensive lineman Armond Armstead fractured his wrist. Defensive end Everson Griffen is experiencing turf toe, another injury that could linger for weeks.

And more than a few folks are wondering if if All-American safety Taylor Mays' is hurting. Mays, who missed the Washington loss with a sprained knee, didn't look like himself against the Ducks.

Miller does this rationally without going off the deep end using the "USC is dead" mantra that we are now seeing.

On the other hand, Ivan Maisel tried that yesterday but he seemed to back track on that when I heard him on Cowherd this afternoon. I hope to record that segment later. What Maisel seemed to miss is that if wants to call SC a fraud then he better put two teams up there with them... Ohio St. and Notre Dame. No two other teams have had their butts kissed by the media more than those two.

USC is not out of anything by a longshot... USC is still a name that big bowl games would want in their game.

There could be a silver lining in all of this but I haven't really looked at it... it is still too soon yet.

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