USC vs. UCLA Report Card: Grading the Trojan Defense


The defense took control of USC vs. UCLA, helping the Trojans to a 40-21 win at the Coliseum.

In a performance reminiscent of USC’s win over Utah, the Trojan defense turned big plays from true freshman into the fuel that propelled them to victory.

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Here’s how each defensive unit graded out against the Bruins:

A. The defensive line could get docked for the amount of time Josh Rosen was given to throw early in the proceedings, but the big plays created by the big men up front made up for that in the end. Rasheem Green supplied the biggest firework of the day when he scooped up the fumble caused by Claude Pelon and rumbled to the endzone. Greg Townsend Jr. had a bright senior sendoff with tons of early involvement including a tackle for loss whole Delvon Simmons also logged a tackle for loss.. Standout. Rasheem Green. DEFENSIVE LINE

Standout. Su'a Cravens. LINEBACKER. B. Su’a Cravens was a monster as usual, especially in pass coverage where he had three big break ups and a near-interception. Scott Felix had a big sack and Olajuwon Tucker added one of his own as well. Still, the lack of pressure mentioned above was most concerning because blitzing linebackers were unable to get through. Michael Hutchings’ missed tackle led to a Bruin touchdown to further drop the grade.

A. Iman Marshall bounced back from being exposed by Oregon with a massive performance to end UCLA’s winning streak against USC. Solid in coverage for most of the day, Marshall nabbed two interceptions and broke up two passes. Adoree’ Jackson led the team with six tackles as a safety while also adding two break ups. Finally, Marvel Tell returned to make a couple key stops, including a late deflection. Facing a gifted quarterback and still shaking off the mental and physical drain of the loss to Oregon, the USC secondary did all they could have been asked and more.. Standout. Iman Marshall. SECONDARY

B. It felt like Justin Wilcox waited to dial up the pressure a bit too long with Rosen sitting in a clean pocket for much of the first half. Still, the UCLA offense was contained in the second half thanks to the gameplan which forced the game into Rosen’s hands. Unlike against Vernon Adams, it worked as planned.. Standout. Justin Wilcox. COACHING

SEE ALSO: Offensive Grades vs. UCLA

What say you Trojan fans? Vote in the poll and let us know how you feel about the defensive performance during USC vs. UCLA in the comments below.

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