Last year USC was embarrassed at home by the Beavers 45-27. All those same players are back for Oregon State. This second test could be trouble.
Last week the Trojans beat Fresno State pretty handily 45-17. However, defensive tackle Tuli Tuipulotu say they’re still working on discipline and being consistent with what they are asked to do. While they are 3-0, there’s a lot of work needing to be done. Every player can improve consistency and avoiding silly mistakes.
Tuipulotu also revealed some extra motivation for USC. Last year’s game against the Beavers was one of the low points for the Trojans. He was on the field for the blowout and it left a dirty taste in the mouth. Just like with Stanford, USC wants revenge against Oregon State.
It won’t be easy though, they can give the defense many different looks with many different groupings depending on the situation.
“They do a good job in their different personnel groupings, they’re very creative with the personnel that they use. They certainly got a system that they believe in, a style of all to believe in and they do it very well,” said USC Head Coach Lincoln Riley.
“Quarterback’s playing good ball for them, you see his experience starting to show up more and more as he gets more game reps. Then they just present a lot of challenges in terms of all the things to do with their tight ends, their motions of run game, marrying the play action game off of it, so it’ll be a big challenge for us.”
Red zone play is huge for this particular game. Oregon State is 14 for 14 once they get within the 20 yard line and USC has been very good at forcing field goals or turnovers instead of touchdowns. Opponents through three games only convert in this area 54% of the time.
Highlighting the Beavers strength in the red area, Riley mentioned a goal line stand they had against Fresno State. They were able to stop the Bulldogs on the last play and solidify their victory,
“It’s been a strength of theirs offensively and defensively and it’s been a strength of ours too. A game like this on the road, you’re going to have some some tough short yardage plays and some big moments like that,” said Riley.
“I think you know our guys have got confidence that they can make them. But we know it’ll be a fun challenge to meet them on both sides up there.”
There’s not much to say about the offense other than, will this be the week they finally struggle so much it costs them?
Yeah they had an awful second half offensively against Stanford, but they also had built up such a lead it didn’t matter for the particular game.
As a former Washington State defensive coordinator, current USC one, Alex Grinch remembers very vividly his Apple Cup chess matches against Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith while he was the offensive coordinator at the University of Washington.
“I remember not being able to stop him. That doesn’t matter to these guys and so I wouldn’t put that on them. But as a competitor, no you don’t forget those Saturday afternoons. He’s done it for a long time and believes in what he does,” said Grinch.
“Has a tremendous track record and has really recruited the right guys for his system. They play fast, they play hard, they play physical, you can tell they’re developed. I got nothing but good things about him as a coach and certainly respect for them as a program.”
Grinch added how efficient the Oregon State offense is. How explosive they are and how effective their play action game is. They also have a very versatile team, lots of abilities and skill sets, which can cause confusion. Even the goal line package can have multiple looks.
Linebacker Shane Lee backed up his coaches with what he saw on tape. The Oregon State offense has a smooth running game and their great play action requires Trojan defenders to remain disciplined.
Tuipulotu added how while they have many versatile formations, the Beaver’s favorite one to run is 12 personnel, which can utilize their tight end depth. They also prefer condensed sets.
Make sure to continue following USC here at Gridiron Heroics, here’s an article about power five conference champions who lost their first conference game the season they won the conference.
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE