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The Best Defense in the Land

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USC continues to get punished by the pundits, writers and other talking heads for being in a weak Pac-10. But while most of these "experts" shower all sorts of love to the SEC and Big 12 with their high powered offenses and cupcake OOC Schedules SC has pitched 3 shutouts in 4 games.

Brian Grummell at the FanHouse has a great write-up.

Consider: after blanking Washington tonight, USC has now posted three shutouts on the year. That's after holding Ohio State to three points and Virginia to seven which should have been a shutout if not for 30 yards of penalties literally marching the Virginia offense down the field in a way their offense couldn't.

Against Arizona last week, the Wildcats' only touchdown was on a 15-yard drive created by a USC offensive fumble.

Against Arizona State, the USC offense committed five second-half turnovers and still pitched a shutout. This is no ordinary defense.

Even against Oregon State, in the second half USC's defense went nuts forcing five consecutive punts while holding the Beavers to 110 yards on those drives. The game wasn't truly put away until the Beavers returned an interception to set up -- you guessed it -- another short-field touchdown drive of two yards.

The longest opponent touchdown drive this year is 70 yards.

It really has been a sight to see...

I don't care who you are playing or how bad they are but 3 shutouts is impressive and when you consider that in the second half of both the WSU and UW games (I didn't see the ASU game) USC played 2nd and 3rd stringers it makes it even more impressive. Again, this is not an easy thing to do regardless of who you play.

Pete Carroll is simply amazed...

Pete Carroll expressed indifference to historical records Saturday, then moments later the USC coach reminisced about watching film of the University of Pacific's 1949 team.

When Carroll played for the Tigers from 1971 to 1972, he pondered the possibilities of a team replicating the '49 defense, which gave up only 13 points in eight games.

The Trojans' 56-0 drubbing of Washington on Saturday at the Coliseum marked the first time in 26 years USC has posted three shutouts in a season.

And Carroll may have just answered his own question.

"This is the best run that we've had," Carroll said. "I always wondered what it would be like to coach a team where you can go week in and week out and just keep giving up nothing."

Well, almost. The Trojans have rendered opponents scoreless in three of their last four games, giving up 10 points last week to Arizona after blanking Arizona State and Washington State.

USC's defense took Washington off the field as quickly as the Trojans' offense put them back on, surpassing the Trojans' 48-0 blowout in 1929 as the most lopsided of the series.

If SC had a little more discipline in the area of penalties its not hard to fathom just how much more dominant they could be.

The depth that this team has just makes you shake your head. Kevin Ellison goes down with a knee injury and junior Will Harris steps in and the play doesn't drop off..its just that good. We also got a chance to see the next crop of linebackers that are coming in to take over when Cushing, Maualuga and Maiava move on. They played pretty good as did some of the new lineman that will take prominent roles next season.

The defense has done more than their share of giving the offense a chance to really light it up this season and as we head into the home stretch it is even more important that they perform just like they have in the past four games.