The University of Southern California (No. 16*) Trojan defense looked terrible in the 49-36 win over Hawaii Warriors last week, while the offense looked great and special teams good.
There were lessons learned from that game that are being addressed in practice this week.
Hawaii is a unique offensive team that exploited USC’s defense. The USC defense probably looked worse than it is and the offense better.
The Virginia Cavaliers looked better than they are last week against the Richmond Spiders in a 34-13 win.
USC is currently favored by 20 points, and must show an improved defense to get back on track for 2010.
Here is a quick summary of the ten things that the Trojans must fix in this home opener:
- Tackle, Tackle, Tackle including run to the ball and gang tackling.
- Defensive line must assert itself to hurry the passer and slow the run. Moving Armond Armstead to defensive tackle and the return of Nick Perry should help.
- Better pass coverage by defensive backs.
- Linebackers must improve tackling and coverage.
- Defense and special teams must create turnovers.
- Avoid injuries especially to the offensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs.
- Reduce penalties to less than 7 and 70 yards especially by the defense.
- Special teams consistency in extra points and field goals.
- Involve freshman Dillon Baxter in the offense but avoid turnovers.
- Involve more pass receivers like Stanley Havili and Brice Butler but continue a balanced offense.
This will be a fun game to watch in person to see the USC improvement and watch the fans react at the home opener after everything that has happened since the last home game. Of course, you can't beat the tailgating parties either.
*AP Week One Poll