Lincoln Riley talks about the progress of USC’s defense

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley reacts in the
Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley reacts in the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the University of Southern California has a high standard than most other college football programs in America. Most teams would dream and switch places with USC in a heartbeat. The tradition speaks for itself.

USC can claim 11 National Championships to its name. Heck, it’s even on the school’s website. However, after their last in 2004, they have been searching for even that next opportunity to even play for that grand prize.

Last year, they made a big-time acquisition by acquiring one of the hottest and youngest head coaches the sport had to offer. In reality, he wasn’t even on the market. USC was able to pluck Lincoln Riley away from a great situation in Norman, OK with the Sooners.

Riley was able to resurrect this football program by bringing in his offensive philosophy and used the transfer portal to its fullest advantage. Even with an improved overall record of 11-3, they fell short of multiple goals. There was no National Championship. There was no College Football Playoff. There was no PAC-12 Conference championship. The standard has been set and they came up short.

However, we all know the problem is the defense. Riley addressed those concerns last week after a spring practice.

"From a scheme knowledge standpoint to a talent standpoint on the front seven and the competitive depth. The defense you played last year, there was a little bit of a sense of a handful of really good players and there was too much of a gap between those guys and everyone else. You have some really good outstanding individual players but the gap has closed because of that you have more competition and more depth."

Cameron Salerno from 24/7 Sports

Time will tell if progress has been made on that side of the ball. I wouldn’t expect too many fireworks during the upcoming Spring Game that will be taking place this Saturday. We will have to wait and find out once the actual season has begun.