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USC Football

Monday's Morass: What If USC And Alabama Had Played

October 11, 2020
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What if the Trojans are STILL ranked when they kick off on November, 7?

USC’s slow and methodical climb back to the mountain top has reached base camp after [finally] jumping back into the Top 25 polls over the weekend.  The Trojans are now the No. 24 team in the country per the Coaches Poll, and are holding the end of the rope at No. 25 of the teams in the AP Poll. 

I say “still” this week because last week for some reason the Trojans were not considered one of the top 25 teams in the country.  Maybe Louisiana and SMU are better than USC in the eyes of the voters?

What if Ralen Goforth is the Trojans starting middle linebacker against ASU?

On Friday Clay Helton let the Trojan Family know neither Jordan Iosefa or Solomon Tuliaupupu will be available this season.  All eyes were already virtually focused on the linebacker group and how Todd Orlando would help the group “step up” and now the interest intensifies. 

How is the depth affected with their loss?  There’s still lots of talent to work with, however, without the advantage of a spring camp, Coach Orlando will have to find a group that works well together quickly.

What if USC and Alabama had played to open the season?

Anyone who watched the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ole Miss Rebels over the weekend saw a great game filled with an offensive explosion of point production.  And not just from Alabama gashing the Ole Miss run defense for over 300 yards or their pass defense for a similar amount.  

Nope. Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin with less offensive talent than the Trojans possess, destroyed a Nick Saban pass defense.  You may remember earlier this summer I made mention the Alabama faithful were concerned about their young defensive secondary.  Well...Matt Corral and Lane Kiffin proved why there was concern by those close to Crimson Tide’s program.  

Over the course of a season Saban’s defenses always improve, however, I’m left to wonder what could have been had USC and Alabama played, all things considered.

What if 2020 sees the Trojan seniors lead the way?

Two players in particular who have the opportunity to lead...one from each side of the ball are Hunter Echols and Josh Falo. 

I want the best guys on the field regardless of the age.  Although experience does matter, if a freshman has earned the opportunity to play ahead of an older player, so be it.    A 20+ year old person typically knows how to handle pressure situations better than someone who does not have the same experiences and should be ready to accept the challenge.  

What about Josh Falo?

  

There have been flashes of what could be with Falo, however, since his arrival things just have not come together with any consistency.   Falo is a match up nightmare at 6-6, 235lbs possessing great speed for a man his size and a huge catch radius.  Simply put Falo is the type of TE Stanford churns out annually to the NFL.   Will 2020 be the season Josh siezes his potential?   The signs are there.  The Trojans are planning to showcase the TE position during year two under the Harrell-Raid offense.   They better--USC just received a commitment from the No. 4 TE in the country on Sunday when Michael Trigg announced he’ll become a Trojan.

What if injuries take over fall camp?

This is a concern every year and every fall camp.  However, 2020, has changed the way we look at everything.  

The Trojans for the most part have been very fortunate having been together on campus since July.  During this time the team has been getting in shape, focusing on conditioning and preparing for what they thought would be a winter football season.   So when the [good] news arrived there would be a fall season, the players jumped into hyperdrive.  

This is where the new concern comes into consideration.--trying to do too much too fast.  There have already been some reports of tender hamstrings, so this will be  something to keep an eye on.  The Trojans are already down two linebackers they were counting on to contribute this season, so any more injuries to this unit could become problematic.

What if offense wins championships?

By the looks of it, playing defense is optional in 2020.  

Scoring is up everywhere and there are no signs of the trend slowing down.  Right now the offenses have the advantage and if the defense cannot apply pressure to the quarterbacks, as good as the wide receivers are today...it just becomes too hard to defend when the routes are being flooded by 4-5 receivers.

Having a good defense in today’s college game means being able to get one more stop than the opposition and creating turnovers.  This is how thin the margin for error is now on defense.

 
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