Waiting on waiting is never fun and the big challenge for the Offense is their cadence development. You can scrimmage and you can study film but going against your own defense is usually not going to get it done. The gridiron on game-day is the only place where all the reps in practice will be truly tested. Only the defense can get ready for Saturday as long as they are in physical type environments. If the defense is held back to severely well that’s when you get the post-game, “Kids played hard and they’ll get better” comments from the coaching staff. A long-winded way of saying practice hard or pay the price it really doesn’t make sense not to prepare at game-day contact and speed levels.
The past years under the direction of Coach Clay Helton has clearly been a weak prep experience. No physicality to speak of and deliberate hands off to the ground with tackling. So when the team lines up they have shown that the other team’s cadence is typically at a rate of play that USC is getting used to rather than being prepared for. This team is always skilled ready but the development of the raw skills is also a key missing component that this year was to be the day of reckoning for Clay and staff. Then COVID=19 and well the rest is history as season pass tickets were all handed out for 2021.
USC being in the soft PAC-12 Conference and on top of that the weaker of the two division (South) will be ill prepared to battle a team that is a true Power 5 level caliber if they don’t change their ways. Success in the Southern division is not a true measure of readiness and the cadence developed during the week will be tested throughout the season.
Fight On….tick toc to November 7th.