College Football summers are special. They tend to relieve the daily snooze of watching a Major League baseball game while turning up the hype machines for what might be in the fall of the new season. There is a special summer for a true Dawg in the state of Georgia. One of the most promising former USC Quarterbacks in J.T. Daniels has fought off his injuries in game one of his final season at USC and is getting that chance to prove it twice. My money is on J.T. as I know the George Bulldogs are rebuilding the secondary but for J.T. he will have that comfort year under his belt now and should command the huddle and advance his overall maturation as a true Leader and not just a gifted quarterback.
For the Trojans this summer is focused in two areas in my opinion, maybe three. I believe that all eyes are on that offensive line for starters. The O Line has a huge character rebuilding year and has a chip on it's shoulders for each of the members of this group. Protecting Kedon Slovis is critical not just from an injury perspective but his confidence. Last year Kedon was off. Lot's of chatter on his previous years shoulder injury but I saw something different. I felt his eyes were not confident and he locked on his primary and all others were well not a consideration. The defensive coordinators saw this in the film as we did and it made their attacks very easy and thus the offensive explosiveness we saw in the previous year was just not there. In fact, I would argue we were the worst of the undefeated teams going in to conference championship week.
My third opinion on the focus side is the RB's. Not so much at the individual level of play but how the offensive sequencing incorporates a deeper display of this talented group. In addition, it impacts the offensive line as well. When an O Line is plowing in the trenches they are pushing forward and drawing energy from every yard gained. They are also able to reduce the energy of the defensive line by keeping them pounded and back pedaling. This to me has been understated as an issue with the USC Offensive Line. I see this as critical and would also build on the emotional tone of the offensive line as well.
So if I were to look at one KEY person (player or coach) Im staring down our Offensive Coordinator, Graham Harrell. He has the keys to the solution. It's his offensive baby to tweak and take advantage of the talent over the ability of the opponents. If he stays the course of an all out throwing plan well then pass the pop corn and go over to Chavez and watch some end of year and playoff games as we could be looking at a long season if nothing changes from last year.