Throughout USC Football's 17-14 win against Oregon State, Caleb Williams and the offense did not discover a rhythm until late in the fourth quarter. What kept USC in the game from start to finish was their defense. Not only did they hold Oregon State to 14 points, but the entire defense was constantly making plays on the ball, leading to a game-sealing interception.
So far this season, USC's defense has been just as good as their offense. During their four-game win streak, USC has forced a total of 14 turnovers. On the flip side, Williams and the offense have yet to make an unforced error. These unreal numbers, along with an undefeated record, explain why USC is now sixth in the AP Top 25.
USC Football star cornerback, Mekhi Blackmon, has been a force on defense this season. Typically, most cornerbacks show weaknesses when tracking the ball out of the air. With Blackmon, that is not the case.
Furthermore, Blackmon excels in coverage and plays exceptionally well in the open field. Late in the game against Oregon State, Blackmon caught an unreal interception in isolated coverage, causing a momentum shift for USC. In addition, Blackmon's first interception of the season--versus Stanford--was also in one-on-one coverage in the end zone. This shows how valuable Blackmon can be when the defense has their backs against the wall.
USC Football star, Mekhi Blackmon, has proven to be one of the nation's top cornerbacks.
Mekhi Blackmon, the former Colorado transfer, has arguably been one of the top cornerbacks in the country for USC football. His ball skills, speed, playmaking, and tracking abilities are equivalent to some of the best defensive backs at the professional level. Additionally, Blackmon uses his experience playing at the collegiate level to his advantage.
In only four games played this season, Blackmon has already filled up the stat sheet. So far, Blackmon has two interceptions, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery, and a total of 15 tackles. If he continues at this rate, Blackmon is on pace to receive some of the highest honors offered in college football.
Blackmon's dominance this year adds to why USC's defense has played extremely well. All four of USC's games thus far have been against a well-rounded offensive scheme. Riley's schedule does not get any easier as USC is set to face Arizona State in their upcoming matchup. The defense will have to play to the best of their ability if USC hopes to make a jump in the rankings.
In Riley's post-game interview against Oregon State, he made several encouraging statements regarding the defense. Riley knows just how talented USC's defense is, as they proved it once again by forcing four turnovers against their conference rival. With the help of Blackmon, USC's defense has the potential to shut down almost any offense in the country.
Regardless of how USC's offense performs, it is almost guaranteed that Blackmon and the defense will exceed their expectations on any given night. Based on his performances this season, Blackmon deserves the reputation as one of college football's best cornerbacks. It is clear how bright Blackmon's future can be if all goes as planned.