September 12, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian greets defensive tackle Delvon Simmons (52) after a defensive play against the Idaho Vandals during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
USC football entered the bye week on a high with a blowout win over ASU, but there remain concerns about what the Trojans can and can’t accomplish in 2015.
If the Trojans a contender for the Pac-12 title and a berth in the College Football Playoff they will need to prove it each week as the schedule gets more and more tough.
This off week was the last chance to take a breath for the men of Troy before the real tests begin.
So we asked the Reign of Troy staff what improvement they are most interested in seeing from the Trojans after the bye week:
Michael Castillo, Managing Editor
The improvement comes in consistency.
USC needs to show that they have the ability to consistently win their 1-on-1 battles in the trenches and get in the face of Jake Browning, while negating the blitz on offense. That was where USC really beat ASU up last week, but they haven’t shown the ability to keep that up for long stretches. Repeating that performance against Washington would go a long way in dispelling that inconsistency, thereby being an improvement.
Without Claude Pelon, and with Antwaun Woods still not 100 percent, that will be a tough task, but they need to show some sort of penetration.
Nick Conley, Staff Writer
I want to see USC find more stability and improvement along the offensive line after the bye week.
Alicia de Artola, Editor
I thought the Trojan offensive line would be more dominant by now, so I would like to see a step up from that unit after the bye week.
There have been moments, especially to start games, when the line has been able to absolutely manhandle the opposing defense in the trenches. The run game has been unstoppable in those moments. Unfortunately there has been little consistency when it comes to USC imposing their will on teams.
It’s crunch time for Bob Connelly. The Trojans need momentum on the offensive line heading into battles with the tough defensive fronts of Notre Dame and Utah. Great teams are great in the trenches and USC still has a lot of proving to do in that department.
Demetrie Edwards, Staff Writer
I want to see less penalties.
Also, the intensity displayed against ASU was impressive, yet there still remains work to be done. Be it offense or defense, USC’s ability to truly dominate games seems to be lurking just beneath the surface. At times, the ability to pass or run the ball at will seems apparent, yet the offensive identity is still a work in progress, stalling at times.
Defensively, I expect to see a more consistent pass rush. If the Men of Troy are able to maintain that level of intensity throughout the game, a sure to be fired up Washington squad could be in for a very long night.
Dustin Jacobs, Staff Writer
Same thing I would like to see every week: Improvement on the pass rush, especially in how creative Justin Wilcox is in working out his game plan and adjustments.
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- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers