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Question Marks Remain For USC Defense

by Greg Katz

LOS ANGELES – Was there anything more controversial or up for discussion than the 2014 Trojans defense? It seemed that the defense and those that orchestrated it were front and center in some of the biggest upset losses by the Cardinal and Gold.

To fully understand the Trojans title hopes for 2015 and this season’s defense specifically, one must painfully recall what went on in 2014 – even with the great Leonard Williams at defensive tackle, reliable inside linebacker Hayes Pullard, and gifted underclassman linebacker Su’a Cravens.

The Trojans finished the 2014 season at 9-4 and head coach Steve Sarkisian called his first campaign “a total success.” If that’s how the head coach viewed it, that’s okay, but his defense certainly had its issues and if it had it played better, the Trojans might have played in a bowl game with national implications.

While the 2014 offense averaged 35.8 points per game, the defense gave up 25.1 per outing, and it didn’t take long before the Trojans faithful were pointing their collective fingers at defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who has been called a college head coach in waiting. It was in fourth-quarter crunch time defeats when the Trojans defense got crunched and seemed to be at its worst – physically, mentally, and fundamentally.

Click here to read the full story at the ESPN USC blog

Greg Katz
Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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