Fans and pundits alike continue question and wonder about USC's offensive production this season.
Many want to point to the tired and worn excuse that without Norm Chow the USC offense has never been the same. Some will say that it is because of Pete Carroll's ego, wanting to have complete control to run things his way in respect to the offense and then there is the other faction that simply simply say that Pete Carroll is simply an average offensive coach.
I do not think that it is too far of a stretch that it is probably a little bit of all three. No coach can do it all, no coach is always right and big time football coaches do want to run things their own way.
Regardless of all the psycho-analysis or pining for the past, the fact still remains that the USC offense this season is far from living up to where many of us thought it would or should be.
After the seventh-ranked Trojans beat Washington State 27-6 Saturday night, Carroll effusively praised his defense, which took a shutout into the final minute and racked up eight sacks. Carroll even said the defense had "an easy game," handling everything Washington State could throw at it.
The USC offense is where nearly every fault with these Trojans (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) currently exists, and Carroll isn’t afraid to say it—albeit a little indirectly.
"It’s great to win, it’s fun to win, but we’ve got a lot of work to do," Carroll said. "Gosh, it’s just not at all the satisfying kind of win we would have liked to have had. … Defense played really well. There’s a lot of room for improvement. Most of the problems were self-inflicted."
The offense wasn’t nearly as impressive, even with the return of freshman quarterback Matt Barkley from a bruised right shoulder. Barkley’s arm still hurts, but he pushed through the pain to pass for 247 yards and two long first-quarter touchdowns.
OK, so what is the problem?
To me it is simple...it is coaching or lack there of.
The biggest problem I see is ball control. 1) Either protecting it once you get it or 2) making sure you get it when it comes your way. The second one really pisses me off. Ellison should have caught that ball in the end zone it was right in his hands. Ausberry seems to have hands of stone...he had one pass placed perfectly by Barkley on the sidelines that he could not hang on to. Ausberry is a pretty big guy so he should be able to muscle opposing defenders away from the ball. Patterson made a nice catch also but he went out of bounds before he caught the ball...that is coaching as well. The receivers need to have a sense of field presence.
Just what are the coaches doing to ensure that our guys are learning the proper technique to protect the ball? You can't teach concentration either the player has it or he doesn't. Ausberry and Ellison, for all the great things we have heard about them, should do a better job at hanging on to the ball. Yes, Ellison did get a TD against SJSU but we are at a critical time now. SC needs to score when they are that deep in the opposing teams territory. That does a lot to build a teams confidence...it takes away all the second guessing. When the team executes on the easy plays it allows them to expand the play book, to start opening things up.
USC for all of their talent, are really being scrutinized for their lack of production on offense. I don't know if it is on Morton, Bates or Carroll.
They are responsible if you ask me...
USC is headed for a season like we haven't seen in a long time if the team doesn't start producing like we expect them to.