USC football's coaching staff put together mixed results for their tight Week 4 win at Oregon State. When taking a look at the head coach, the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator, and the defensive passing game coordinator; two of them performed far above the other two. One may have even made a strong case for a head coaching gig next season.
The other two, who are typically working with the same side of the ball, delivered a bit of a disappointing performance. While much of it was on the players, much of it was also on the coaching, and it was rather obvious.
Coaching grades for USC football in hard-fought win at Oregon State
Surprisingly, USC football's head coach turned in a performance that left plenty to be desired. A top five coach in America, it was surprising. Both offensive coaches really struggled, and both looked worse than they have all year.
Grading USC Football Head Coach Lincoln Riley in hard-fought win at Oregon State: C
USC Football Head Coach Lincoln Riley randomly abandoned the running game, even when it was all that was really working consistently for the Trojans against Oregon State. Travis Dye ran the ball 19 times for 133 yards and a score. Still, however, Riley didn't put the offense in his hands.
It was especially concerning when Dye would break a big run, and then Riley would go right back to calling pass plays. Heck, Dye started the game with a 36-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, and then Riley chose to not hand it off the rest of the drive.
OSU's D-Line was chasing after QB Caleb Williams all game, but Riley for whatever reason chose to not alter his original game plan, and make that adjustment.
Grading USC Football Offensive Coordinator Josh Henson in hard-fought win at Oregon State: C-
It's Riley's offense, but USC football does have an "offensive coordinator" in Josh Henson. While he can't put too much input into head man Riley's offense, he does specialize as the Offensive Line Coach. Unfortunately, the offensive line looked awful in pass protection. There were entire drives that felt like Williams was being pressured throughout on every attempt.
Williams only was sacked twice, but only due to the reality that he evaded sack after sack after sack throughout the entire contest. Even on that highlight where the offensive line pushed Williams forward past the first-down marker on the 4th-and-six conversion during the game-winning drive, Williams should not have been pressured and forced to take off in the first place.
Grading USC Football Defensive Passing Game Coordinator Donte Williams in hard-fought win at Oregon State: A+
Donte Williams proved himself yet again for USC football in a great performance for the defense against the pass. Williams helps out Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch as the Defensive Passing Game Coordinator, and is also the Defensive Backs Coach.
The DB's intercepted three passes (Ceyair Wright, Mekhi Blackmon, and Max Williams), and four passes as a whole were picked off (LB Eric Gentry had one). OSU QB Chance Nolan didn't find the end zone once, and only completed 17 out of 29 passes for just 167 yards. This is why Williams was retained on this staff.
Grading USC Football Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch in hard-fought win at Oregon State: A+
USC Football Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch stole the show for the Trojans. Not only was he obviously the man in charge for a team that only allowed 14 points in a hostile road environment, but the four turnovers were of course all game-changers. SC didn't let the Beavers make a mistake without paying for it.
Grinch's defense only allowed 320 total yards, on a night where his unit easily won USC the game. The offense refused to give the Beavs a long field, but Grinch continued to adapt and overcome. Grinch may have just earned himself a head coach job next year, as he is in the conversation for two Power 5 jobs right now in Nebraska and Arizona State.
USC football had its ups-and-downs as far as coaching goes. The defensive side of the ball couldn't have been much better, though, at least as far as the coaching goes. The best part is that it's not likely that a guy like Riley will have another game like this. Perhaps USC really does have the coaching staff that has the potential to bring this program back within just their first year together.