Updated: Oct 10, 2022
USC Football 2022 is 6-0 now. They have hit a stride that many had trouble seeing them as undefeated going into the Utah game on the road. Such is college football, and it's a wonderful time to be a Trojan fan, isn't it? Watching the games one by one, there have been a lot of changes from game to game. The most consistent change has been the progress of the defense in general and the offensive lines' clear week-over-week improvement. In fact, that last one is an understatement, in my humble opinion. There are a couple of question marks, and the one that catches the eye is the passing game and why it seems to suddenly go south all of a sudden with all those weapons. Let's probe this one, as I believe the offense is just fine. It's really the defense making a statement that the pass will not beat us, so coach Riley shifts to the obvious and goes ground attack. Enter Travis Dye. What a season and what a game this young man is having. Dye wound up with a game controlling 149 yards for the game and literally carried the team on his back, and as he said below;
“All credit goes to the O-line,” Dye said. “That defensive line is crazy good. That defensive coordinator could really dial it up, and the O-line with ID’ing everything and blocking it up, it was wonderful tonight, and it’s all credit to them.”
I believe the offensive line has become a major storyline for the Trojans of 2022. Now the staff and mainly the acting HC/OC Lincoln Riley need to exploit this. The old saying is when something is working, keep feeding the plays until the other side stops you. During Saturday night, I was tweeting this all night long, as you could see the control the O Line was exerting on a very good WSU Cougar defensive line. Coach Riley was sticking with the running game when it mattered most and this is going to pay-off big vs. Utah as they are coming off a painful loss to the Bruins on national TV.
So how do you like our defense now? First six games of 2022 and they are averaging (2nd half points) 6 points which is championship caliber. Only giving up 6 points average in the second half through six games of 2022 is not something I was expecting at this point at all. The defense is the surprise package of 2022 and least expected unit to rise up so fast and continue to improve week over week. The swarming attitude is obvious when a ball is in the air or a running back is seeking that seam. Very pleased with the progress here and was clearly a surprise given where the unit was and how big a challenge Grinch faced in Spring Camp.