On Thursday the USC Trojans spent day four of fall camp working on red zone situations. As we discussed last time time USC football head coach Clay Helton is a strong proponent of situational football so while on Wednesday the team worked on third down situations, on Thursday the Trojans worked on red zone situations.
Succeeding in the red zone is crucial to winning games and if your defense can consistently force field goals instead of allowing touchdowns and your offense can routinely get 7 points instead of 3 in the red zone that can be the difference between a 10-3 season or a college football playoff run.
Last season the Trojans’ offense was 78th in the country in red zone scoring. The USC defense was 31st in the nation in allowing scores inside the red zone. Needless to say these are not great numbers. So, while the preseason Coaches Poll released Thursday showed the Trojans as an immediate playoff contender in the early rankings, if they want to continue to stay in the hunt for a spot in the College Football playoff they cannot afford to be mediocre in the red zone.
In practice the defense once again won the day by winning three out of four of the situations the coaches put them in. Sam Darnold and Deontay Burnett however continued to show great chemistry with one another but Helton wants to focus on coaching up the other receivers so that they can have the same kind of chemistry with Darnold that Burnett has.