The USC Trojans are playing good football on the offensive side, but their defense hasn't stepped up the past few weeks and held their ground.
What were the biggest disappointments about the USC loss to Oregon? What were the most encouraging signs?
Trevor Wong, Conquest Chronicles - The biggest disappointment was failing to see any sort of resistance on the defensive side of the ball. Oregon's offense is good, yes, but the Ducks pretty much did as they pleased. In the second half, I didn't see any adjustments, either, which compounded the glaring issue with the Trojans' defensive schemes.
An encouraging sign, if any, was USC's ability to almost match Oregon score for score. This was the offense that many fans expected to see at the beginning of the year, and it performed up to those expectations, hanging a season-high 51 points on the board.
Trojan Empire - What was most disappointing was the ease of which Oregon scored. It had it's way against the Trojan defense in a game that must have resembled a practice session for Duck coordinators and players. Oregon did everything it set out to do, and USC was at its mercy, with no scheme or adjustment capable of stopping it. The most encouraging sign from Saturday's game is that the Ducks needed 60 points to win. The Trojan offense was suddenly everything it was advertised to be in the preseason, which is what most fans were waiting to see. A poor Ducks secondary may have played a role in that, but I think it was the first time this season that the Trojans took full advantage of the talent they possess and used it manipulate a defensive unit that wasn't nearly as strong as it appeared on paper.,
Josh Webb, FightOnTwist - People talk about this USC team as though things went differently than people expected. If you're operating under the assumption that USC should have won that game, then of course you're going to find disappointments. Oregon is a damn fine team. As a matter of fact, people are talking about this Duck team as a serious threat to the SEC's recent reign of terror in the BCS Title Game. This is a team that many people believe might win it all. USC is a team on sanctions, with injuries, and has had other stars from last year ruled ineligible. This is a partially loaded six-shooter taking on a fully automatic weapon that has a laser scope. Oregon was the better team on paper. Outside of the 35 points Oregon gave up in week 1 against Arkansas State, no team in the top 5 had surrendered more than 27 points in a game. USC nearly doubled that total and took Oregon's defense from 23rd in the nation to 40th.
DC Trojan - Conquest Chronicles - I was a little disappointed that SC didn't seem ready for Oregon's perimeter running and left the middle of the field open for Mariota's occasional passes. Oregon was doing some excellent downfield blocking for Barner, which exacerbated it, but it seemed like once SC missed an Oregon player near the line of scrimmage, it was all bad angles and footraces. Mind you, Oregon's pretty good. Like Josh and Trevor, I was really pleased with the offense. Limited penalties, a decent combination of clock-killing and big plays when needed, and it was mostly their own goofs that kept them from being tied with Oregon. I know a lot of Oregon alums and fans thought that their defense was going to keep SC in check this season and I think that game was an eye opener.