USC Football HC Lincoln Riley needs time to evaluate DC Alex Grinch

Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football scored 45 points in the Cotton Bowl, but still lost due to Alex Grinch's side of the football giving up 46 (two of Tulane's points were on a safety). It looks like Lincoln Riley and Mike Bohn have no choice but to fire him after a 46-45 loss like this, where the defense proved to not be much better than what it was in its historically bad form last year.

This is not a fluke performance by any stretch of the imagination. USC came into this game allowing 27.92 points per game. That ranked as 81st in the country. They just dropped to 29.21 points per game with this defensive debacle. It's clear that SC needs to make a change at the defensive coordinator position, because SC gave up at least 43 points in each of their three losses this season.

Riley was asked after the game about his confidence in Grinch, and per Chris Treviño of 247Sports, said that he needs to take more than 15 minutes after the game (when he was asked at the press conference) to give a big-picture assessment of something like that. All he said was that "We will take a deep dive of it."

SC gave up 539 total yards in the game, which again, was no fluke. They showed up to the game allowing 415.1 total yards per game. That's 101st in the country. Somehow, they topped that average and finished the season allowing 424 total yards per contest after the bowl game. The Trojans gave up nine yards per carry and 13 yards per pass attempt in the Cotton Bowl. Grinch needs to go.

Very few USC Football defensive players played well in the Cotton Bowl, which was a bad look for Alex Grinch.

Only Mekhi Blackmon truly stood out for USC Football's defense in the Cotton Bowl, which speaks to Alex Grinch's inability to get the players prepared. Blackmon had eight tackles, a pass-break-up, and a forced fumble.

Raesjon Davis had some clutch plays, and at least there were four different players that recorded a sack (Nick Figueroa, Solomon Tuliaupupu, Tuli Tuipulotu, and Shane Lee). Very few players for SC's defense really rose to the occasion consistently, however, in the Cotton Bowl. Perhaps that will change next year, if USC makes a coaching change at the defensive coordinator position.

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For now, Riley is going to need some time to evaluate that. That being said, the evaluation should not take too long to be made. USC's offense had the ball for 39:49, yet the defense still couldn't take advantage. The game felt all too similar to the other losses this season. This cannot go on any longer, and hopefully Riley and Bohn realize that.