KSL UNRIVALED

USC Beat Writer Calls Trojans A ‘Soft’ Program

Oct 20, 2023, 9:58 AM | Updated: 10:31 am

A detailed view of the fingernails of Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans that spelled out Utah...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 02: A detailed view of the fingernails of Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans that spelled out Utah are seen on the sidelines during the third quarter in the Pac-12 Championship against the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah goes on the road this weekend to take on USC in what will likely be the last time the Utes and Trojans meet up for a long time as the two are set to join new conferences next year.

This game has been one of the most anticipated over the past few years with the Utes winning three in a row – including last year’s Pac-12 championship game. This game is going to be personal for some of those USC players, especially quarterback Caleb Williams.

The Trojans offense has been scoring a lot of points in most games averaging 47 per matchup, but they have not played a heavy-hitting schedule.

USC Trojans O-Line Faces Test Against Utah Utes

The first month featured four teams that won’t make a bowl game, and then they struggled against an improving but not yet great Arizona team, and last week were pushed around by Notre Dame.

Playing the Irish was the first real defense that this offensive line for the Trojans had to face and they fell flat. They easily got after Williams and forced three interceptions, and allowed only 20 points for USC, which was over half of what they were scoring per game leading into that contest.

The Ute defensive front will by far be the best they have faced, and that USC offensive line will not have seen a player like defensive end Jonah Ellis who is leading the nation with nine sacks. As a team, Utah is sixth in the nation with 3.67 sacks per game.

Matt Zemek of Trojans Wire did not hold back in his assessment of USC’s offensive line.

“The Trojans are soft. They were soft on defense the past several weeks, this past weekend it was the offensive line that was especially soft. This is a soft team and it’s a soft program,” Zemek said.

“This offensive line didn’t play well against Arizona State, didn’t play well against Arizona, and didn’t play well against Notre Dame. It is not really even accurate to say this team is inconsistent. It’s accurate to say that over the past month, the group has been consistently mediocre, and that’s why USC is where it is right now.”

The USC offensive line has struggled all year.

Last week in their loss to Notre Dame, the Trojans allowed six sacks and 11 tackles for a loss.

For the year, USC has given up 17 sacks that’s eighth in the Pac-12. Utah leads the Pac-12 in sacks with 22 on the year, so this area is where the Utes could make some noise and pull off the upset on the road at the Colosseum.

Matt Zemek | Trojans Wire…
19 minutes

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USC Beat Writer Calls Trojans A ‘Soft’ Program