USC Football: Late Kick’s Pate believes the Trojans are a Playoff Contender

USC Spring Football Game
USC Spring Football Game / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

I was entering college at the height of the most recent USC football dynasty. This was during the Pete Carroll run. From 2001-2009, the Trojans were arguably the best team of the 2000 decade. They had an overall record of 97-19 with a conference record of 62-14 (including 7 titles). They won two National Championships (2003 & 2004) and finished in the top 5 seven years in a row.

Since Carroll’s departure, the Trojans have been searching for answers on how to recapture the glory days.  After multiple head coaching failures - Josh Pate, the host of The Lake Kick, believes Lincoln Riley has the opportunity to do great things in Southern California.

"“I believe it’s a matter of when not if he wins a national title.”"

Josh Pate on Late Kick

Many people are saying that Lincoln Riley can’t ever win a championship because of the defenses he has put together as a head coach at Oklahoma and now at USC. Last season, in his first year, the Trojans had the following defensive stats/rankings:

PPG Allowed - 29.2 (94th)

Total YPG - 423.9 (106th)

Pass YPG - 264.1 (112th)

Rush YPG - 159.8 (80th)

20+ YD Plays - 75 (121st)

Obviously, those are not very good numbers. The production levels from the defense certainly need to be cleaned up. Maybe Alex Grinch will be able to turn it around. Maybe he isn’t able to do that and is let go after this season. Either way, Riley knows things need to change. Do not be shocked if he can figure something out. Pate believes that day is coming on the defensive side of the ball.

"“The entire premise of my argument is yes; I expect that to happen. I have this radical theory that the best in any industry start to identify their weaknesses and move to correct them.’”"

Josh Pate on Late Kick

Right now, they have the fifth-best odds to win the National Championship.

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