10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Washington
1.) Leave Clay Helton home
Seriously, think about it. What does USC miss if Helton takes a game off? No one will burn timeouts in the fourth quarter or after a kickoff. ABC won't be able to capture that blank look on the sideline. It's actually good for Helton too because fans can't blame him if USC loses.
Like I say, a mannequin does less damage. Just weld a cap on its head like Helton does every week and pack it on the charter to Seattle.
And while you're at it, leave John Baxter in L.A. too.
2.) Protect Matt Fink
I know JT Daniels doesn't like to get hit. And the jury is out on Kedon Slovis' ability to take a hit.
But the USC offensive line also needs to do a better job. Jalen McKenzie let his man go right through and hammer Slovis on the play he got hurt. If Washington does that and gets to Fink, USC might be looking at Tyler Vaughns or Amon-Ra St. Brown at QB.
3.) Get the sideline organized
The USC sideline tends to be a circus every game but at Husky Stadium things could be worse with a loud crowd. That means someone needs to make sure the special teams players are ready so there are not 10 men on the field for extra points like vs. Utah.
4.) Run the football
Washington is going to drop 8 men into pass coverage better than BYU. The Huskies run this defense every year against Washington State and are 5-0 vs. Mike Leach's Air Raid. That means USC will need to run the ball successfully.
5.) Get the coaches a clue!
Do we have to ask every week for tailback Markese Stepp to get a chance? In the Helton era, yes we do!
6.) Throw to the tight end. Cover the tight end
USC completes one pass a game to the tight end. It's very consistent. That doesn't help you win games. Someone tell Eb Brown, I mean Graham Harrell, to throw to the tight end.
Oh, and did you see Clancy Pendergast forget to cover Utah tight end Cole Fotheringham on that TD pass? Can't have that in Seattle.
7.) Run more than one blitz package
Washington's offensive line did not allow a sack against BYU last week and we all saw how much trouble the Cougars' defensive line gave USC.
So if USC wants to pressure quarterback Jacob Eason, it better come up with more than one blitz package like it ran last week.
8.) Give a history lesson
USC usually goes to Husky Stadium in November when its raining and cold. It used to have to deal with that big crown on the field back in the day. But none of that will be issue Saturday. It'll be a vacation.
9.) Restrain undisciplined players
He had a personal foul at BYU. He had a late hit against Utah that wasn't called on him and wrongly given to Olaijah Griffin. But then he roughed the passer against Utah. Do the coaches even address this?
10.) Practice the victory formation
USC will be thrilled to even try it at Husky Stadium but it's had bad snaps 2 of its 3 victories while in this formation.