Sunday, September 4, 2016

USC lost because....Alabama is really good

I don't know what fans expected between USC and Alabama. Did they expect a close game? Did they think USC could beat the national champions with a quarterback making his debut? I was on record saying to friends that if USC lost by 10, that's a good sign.

USC got housed 52-6 by a great team with the best coach/defensive mind in college football. This was won because Nick Saban and his defense vs. a rookie non-mobile quarterback is an easy mismatch.

It was ugly early on but Alabama did what the Tide do best - make big plays on defense, trust their training and take advantage of mistakes. Jabari Ruffin lost his cool on his penalty? Alabama comes back with a pick-6. USC blitzes and nobody rotates? Easy touchdown for ArDarius Stewart.

USC couldn't run the ball. JuJu Smith-Schuster was locked up all night. Its defense was bullied up front by Alabama's massive offensive line. Max Browne was in trouble all night. They didn't score a touchdown for the first time since 1997. Obviously they played poorly - which is what Alabama has done to good teams over and over the last 5-6 years.

Oh and let's not forget Lane Kiffin probably wanted this one badly. The Alabama OC picked apart USC's defense easily and that late touchdown pass at the end? A little personal but hey, the Tide always wants to make a statement.

But all that said. The sky isn't falling. USC isn't reeling from signs of something worse. They got punched in the mouth over and over by the best team in the land. You can mention all the high recruits but in college and the pros, you win games by talent AND coaching. USC isn't as good as Clemson or Houston or Auburn or LSU or any top team this year because although they have JuJu and Adoree Jackson, other national contenders are deeper.

Clay Helton is no Pete Carroll but give him time to see what he becomes. I recall Pete Carroll losing to Kansas State early in his career and it turned out okay.

If USC was ranked higher than No. 20, maybe you worry a bit more. Right now, this is a team still searching for itself. Come next week, they'll beat Utah State soundly but we'll know more when they go up to Stanford in two weeks. Until then, lick your wounds, relax and tip your hat to Alabama instead of just merely blame USC laying a fat egg.

No comments:

Post a Comment