What Does USC Need to Address at Pac-12 Media Days?


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Thursday marks the unofficial start of the college football season, with Pac-12 Media Days commencing in Burbank, along with the Coaches Poll being released.

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Though USC football won’t be represented at the podium until Friday, we got together at Reign of Troy answer a simple roundtable question: What do the Trojans need to address at Media Days?

Alicia de Artola:

I want some answers on the plan for offensive and defensive style for the coming season. Obviously Sarkisian can only share so much without tipping off opposing teams, but there was a lot of talk before last year about the type of scheme USC would run with too many mixed results.

Is the hurry-up, no-huddle going to be a reality with greater depth protecting the defense in 2015? Or will it only be trotted out against the likes of Fresno State and Colorado? If Sarkisian’s answer is the former then I will be a happy camper. The biggest problem with USC’s offense last season was rhythm and there’s not reason it needs to be the same this year.

On defense, is there going to be a greater emphasis on aggression? I’m particularly concerned about the pass rush, which lost major pieces in J.R. Tavai and Leonard Williams. Greater rotation will be a help for sure, but I want to hear Sarkisian talk about an active plan to generate much more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

And of course the obligatory Adoree’ Jackson three-way split question definitely needs an updated answer.

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Josh Webb:

Nothing. Less talk, more do.

Nick Conley:

I’d like know certain players that he thinks have emerged since the spring. Whether it be guys returning from injury or underclassmen who have developed, particularly guys who will replacing key starters like Buck Allen, Leonard Williams and Hayes Pullard.

Michael Castillo:

For me, this season comes to down to making an improvement. So I’d like to hear that there is an action plan to improve the bottom line.

Sark said that they put a big focus on finishing in the spring, but what else is being addressed internally? What is going to change from last year for this team to take the next step from eight regular season wins? Is Sark still going to call plays? Are they still planning to blitz more?

Mind you, most of those things Sark can’t directly answer, but at Media Days, it’d be important just know that the coaching staff is at least able to be self-critical and make changes.

They were a great first half team last year and crumbled in the second half of games after being unable to make adjustments. We need to see that they’re able to make adjustments from year to year just as much as drive to drive.

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