USC Football: Good, Bad and Ugly vs. Arkansas State


After months of speculating on how the Trojans would do in their season opener we now know the facts: USC is on its way back to playing USC football.

RELATED: 5 Things We Learned Against the Red Wolves

In this short piece, I will identify one good thing the Trojans did, one bad thing, and one area where an improvement needs made before the kickoff in the Coliseum.

The Good: The Class of 2015

This freshman class is proving worthy of their number one ranking; 13 of them played and all of them played well.

In fact, some of them may have made a case for even more playing time.

Cameron Smith, the lone freshman starter, was always around the ball and tied for a team high seven tackles. If he keeps this up on the field and at practice, he will challenge to keep the starting job the rest of the season.

Osa Masina, Porter Gustin, Ronald Jones, Dominic Davis and Iman “Biggie” Marshall also made their claim for lots of playing time in this game, with Jones’ long run a highlight of the night to be sure.

The Bad: The Offensive Line

During the offseason, anchors and critics constantly said that this would be one of the best, if not the best, offensive line in college football…..and they opened the season’s first half by giving up five sacks. Not exactly a dominant performance there.

Now, to  be fair, the line did improve and did not give up any sacks during the second half. However, this is a very scary statistic when you consider that Arkansas St. was a Sun Belt rather than a Pac-12 team.

If the Red Wolves could dominate the Trojans offensive line, what could Stanford, Arizona St, or UCLA do? Fortunately, there is time to clean all of this up. But we need to see serious improvement versus Idaho.

Needs Improvement: Cody Kessler’s deep ball

This not a criticism of Kessler, who despite being under pressure all night threw for 236 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions.

However, the game could have been over even earlier if Kessler had connected on several wide-open looks with receivers deep down field.

If Kessler wants to win the Pac-12, win the Heisman Trophy, and play at the next level, this must be improved quickly.

Steve Sarkisian pointed this out himself in his conference call, so there is good reason to expect improvement this coming week.

More from Reign of Troy