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Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Photo Credit- Neon Tommy via Flickr

As most know, the 2022 USC Trojans were a good team that COULD have been great if only the Trojan defense had held up their end of the duties! Los Angeles fans aren’t happy about how soft our defense was. Was the debacle last season merely a lack of talent, or did the problems stem from the coaching box?

During the off season, the Trojans knew that they needed more defensive help. With transfer portal additions such as Anthony Lucas, Kyon Barrs, Bear Alexander, Mason Cobb, Jack Sullivan, Jahlil Mohamed, Christian Rowland-Wallace, USC filled some voids. With experienced Trojans returning like Calen Bullock, Domani Jackson, Eric Gentry, the 2023 USC defense is very much upgraded from a talent perspective.

Next, the ‘grinch’ comes into play. I think the 3-3-5 defense is a terrible scheme that relies on big plays too much. It’s supposed to stop the run and pass, but the 3-3-5 gives up way too many big runs, and running the football allows the opponent to find their rhythm much more than passing.

Too many times last season Tuli (now an L.A. Charger) was in coverage instead of rushing, I hope we don’t see Anthony Lucas in coverage 60% of the time, USC gave up 150+YPG on the ground, which is unacceptable. In the 3-3-5 scheme, the opposing team ran straight down USC’s throats, with lineman reaching the second and third levels of USC defense.

Because we have more lean than beef - and also only six combined LBs and DL on the field - the scheme has to change! I’m hopeful that this defense will be a lot better in 2023. Time will tell if USC found the defensive talent needed to make the 3-3-5 scheme work.

This will be a huge year in the career of Alex Grinch.



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