The primary lack of the Troy Taylor period was ugly: the USC Trojans (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) dominated Stanford (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) 56-10 on the Los Angeles Coliseum, of their final matchup as Pac-12 foes.
The Trojans’ explosive offense scored on all however one possession within the first half, serving to construct a 49-3 lead earlier than halftime. 56 complete factors is probably the most Stanford has ever allowed USC. Whereas a loss in opposition to No. 6 USC is on no account an indictment on Taylor, particularly this early in his function, the sport offered beneficial insights into Stanford’s soccer program and present group.
1. Stanford’s protection seemed porous in opposition to the Trojans’ high-flying assault
There are some gamers on Stanford’s protection with NFL potential, together with sophomore defensive finish David Bailey, however the group’s protection doesn’t examine to the weapons USC has at its disposal. Trojan receivers Dorian Singer, Mario Williams and Brenden Rice will possible hear their identify referred to as throughout subsequent 12 months’s NFL draft.
Freshman receiver Zachariah Department already seems just like the second coming of Reggie Bush in simply his third school sport. I’ve not even talked about the previous Heisman winner Caleb Williams, who seemed like some extent guard on turf, distributing the ball shortly to his playmakers.
It doesn’t matter what changes Stanford made in final week’s sport, USC powered via with a roaring offense. When Stanford went to dime packages on protection, the Trojans ran the soccer via the enamel of the Cardinal protection. When Stanford sat again in zone, USC attacked the protection via run-pass choices, flat routes and different Cowl three and Cowl 4 beaters. It didn’t assist that the Cardinal couldn’t draw a move rush.
Asking any group to defend in opposition to USC is a tall activity, however it’s made much more difficult with out equally gifted linemen and defensive backs. With educational restrictions that restrict the pool of gamers Stanford can recruit, Taylor must hit on his recruits with a really high-accuracy fee to be able to compete with the blue bloods.
2. The USC protection shut down Stanford TE Ben Yurosek
Coming off a sport the place he had 9 receptions for 138 yards, it was maybe unsurprising that senior tight finish Ben Yurosek was the primary goal for USC’s sophomore quarterback Ashton Daniels. USC did its homework and the Trojans have been in a position to lock up the six-foot-four tight finish for many of the sport. Whereas the 242-pound tight finish from Bakersfield, Calif. completed the sport with 4 receptions for 54 yards, that doesn’t inform the whole story.
From the movie, it seems USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch referred to as an aggressive match-up zone that allowed beneath defenders to leap routes, significantly after they have been on Yurosek. The Trojans have been in a position to get their arms on balls coming Yurosek’s manner quite a few occasions and when the tight finish did catch the ball, he was instantly wrapped up by a USC defender. To keep away from a predictable offense, extra receivers must step up when Stanford will get into the thick of convention play.
3. Stanford’s offense appeared much less cohesive with out quarterback Ashton Daniels
Daniels suffered an harm early within the second quarter, which knocked him out for the remainder of the sport. After Daniels went down, Syracuse switch Justin Lamson took the helm at quarterback. The offense didn’t function as easily with Lamson and the Cardinal lacked a dynamic athlete who might make fast choices. Whereas it’s unfair to check Lamson’s efficiency in opposition to a top-ten group to Daniels’s efficiency in opposition to a G5 group, the movie makes it clear that Stanford’s gear is totally different when Daniels is within the sport.
Lamson had some promising moments, together with just a few formidable performs to convey the Cardinal into field-goal vary quite a few occasions. However he was unable to attain in a lot of these drives.
It will likely be fascinating to watch how Taylor’s play calling will change to guard Daniels from additional publicity to harm.
The Cardinal hosts its first residence sport on Sept. 16, because it takes on Taylor’s former group Sacramento State (2-0, 0-0 Massive Sky).