As the USC Trojans continue their journey through the season, they face an increasingly demanding road ahead. With a tough schedule on the horizon, questions about the team’s true capabilities come to the forefront.
In the upcoming week, the Trojans are set to face a challenging back-to-back series against Notre Dame and Utah, followed by matchups against Washington and Oregon shortly thereafter. The relentless schedule offers no respite, leaving observers to wonder whether the Trojans can endure this challenging stretch. Thus far, their performance has failed to resemble that of a title contender, particularly on the defensive end of the field. These defensive struggles could potentially haunt them when facing formidable opponents.
The recent string of uneven performances has left many pondering the Trojans’ ceiling for success this season. Some have even begun to question how USC compares to other top teams in the competitive Pac-12 conference.
“I wouldn’t say a lot better because USC has Caleb Williams and he’s a difference maker to be sure, but Oregon and Washington (Ducks are ahead of the Dawgs) are better than the Trojans. Defense is the difference. The Duck defense has been absolutely dominating and USC’s defense has its problems.”
When approached for their opinions, two members of Ducks Wire expressed the belief that USC has fallen behind the other premier programs this season.
The Trojans’ defense appears to be a recurring obstacle, despite offseason additions to the team. The prospect of missing out on a coveted spot in the College Football Playoff looms large, a scenario that would be difficult to accept for USC’s head coach, Lincoln Riley, and his team. However, Matt Zemek, a contributor to Trojans Wire, offers a slightly more optimistic perspective. While the Trojans may not currently meet the desired standard, Zemek holds the belief that they have the potential to reach greater heights.
“I do think USC’s defense — today — is nowhere near ready for Oregon and Washington. Fortunately for USC, the Trojans aren’t playing those teams this week or the next. They have a month to figure this out.”
USC possesses the necessary talent to compete at the highest level and contend for the title. However, without a marked improvement in their defensive performance, securing the championship seems improbable. Time is of the essence for the Trojans as they navigate a season filled with challenges, and their defense must quickly find solutions to address their ongoing struggles.
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