Not that it was a pretty win but it is hard not to see that there is some improvement on Defense and Special Teams.
Don't get me wrong while it was great to get the win on Saturday there were still some shoddy play on both of those units but progress is being made.
The OCR brings up the question, Lane Kiffin is hopeful as well..
Lane Kiffin often references his first go-round at USC. His goal is to return the Trojans to the elite status they enjoyed from 2002-08.
Kiffin is hopeful Saturday night's 34-33 victory over Arizona State will be a jumping-off point.
The game reminded Kiffin of a turning-point triumph from 2001. USC was 2-5 under first-year coach Pete Carroll when it won a seesaw affair vs. Arizona on Kris Richard's 62-yard interception return.That started a regular-season-ending four-game winning streak. USC wouldn't lose more than two games in a season again until 2009.
Well, I think the team had a little more depth but not necessarily more talent back then. The defense is getting gassed at the end of these game because there is a lack of fresh legs. No question the defense is getting better, there are still some issues but they are coming together.
You never know when the tide will turn in your favor. USC has been everyone's punching bag for a while so maybe the football gods are looking our way for a change.
The key to ANY turnaround has to come from the offense though.
With all the good that we have seen earlier this season is it pretty perplexing to see the offense get stagnant of late. I realize that Robert Woods was less than 100% on Saturday, but Ronald Johnson is still there and Brice Butler has made his presence known this season. The running game needs to solidify as well. Bradford isn't going to see much playing time because of ball control issues so unless C.J. Gable suddenly turns into the Titans Chris Johnson most of the work is going to fall on Tyler and Baxter.
Tyler is clearly proving to be the workhorse while D-Bax is making some progress. Kiffin noted in his conference call that Baxter's run blocking still needs a lot of work. Baxter also needs to just plow forward, his running style is more like his high school days...he just needs to let flow and not think about it. Sometimes running straight ahead will get you the best results.
I am hopeful that 'SC can turn it around but there still a lot of work to be done...