Adjustments USC Trojans Need to Make to Beat Texas Longhorns

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File Photo: The USC Trojan offensive line. September 8, 2018, at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Adjustments USC Trojans Need to Make

USC had a rude awakening against Stanford this past Saturday, and if they don’t make any changes, they could be facing could be another ugly game. Here are some adjustments the Trojans need to make to beat the Texas Longhorns.

File Photo: JT Daniels #18 of the USC Trojans. September 8, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Preparedness on Offense

It seems like USC hasn’t had a game plan for either of their first two games against UNLV and Stanford, respectively. Against UNLV, they came out flat and weren’t able to finish drives for the first three quarters. Against Stanford, they once again weren’t able to finish off drives. For the whole game against Stanford, it felt like the play-calling was scrambled and the offensive coaching staff was confused on what plays to call. It’s almost as if their game plan has been to start each game, see what the opposing team throws at them, and adjust accordingly. Adjustments are a key part to winning football games, but going into games without having a plan, especially against teams like Stanford and Texas, is self-destruction.

Get the Offensive Line Healthy

The offensive line obviously struggled against Stanford; one of the reasons being that they weren’t 100% healthy. The USC offensive line has been battling injuries throughout the offseason. Toa Lobendahn sat out of the home opener against UNLV but gave it a go against Stanford. Other names like Chuma Edoga, Clayton Bradley, and Austin Jackson have also struggled with injuries over the last few weeks. If USC wants to be able to compete with this physical Texas defensive line, they’re going to need to get as healthy as possible.

Get the Offense Going – Finish Drives

When asked about what he would like to see improved, Offensive Coordinator Tee Martin said, “Overall execution, and it starts up front. We gave up four sacks today. Just executing at the end of the day.” USC will not be able to beat Texas with another three-point performance. They need to figure out how to execute in the red zone especially. So far this season, the Trojans have reached the red zone eight times but have only pushed the ball into the end zone three times. That’s a 37.5% conversion rate. In order to beat the Longhorns on the road, USC will need to have more success in the red zone.

Let Stephen Carr be Stephen Carr

File Photo: Stephen Carr #7 of the USC Trojans. September 8, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Before Stephen Carr started battling injuries last year, it was questioned whether or not he was better than Ronald Jones. He has the potential to be a top running back in the nation and is arguably the most electric player on the field at any given time. Against Stanford, Carr averaged 5.2 yards per carry on only ten touches. Aca’Cedric Ware averaged 3.3 yards per carry on 18 touches. Ware has had an impressive year so far, but Carr is a playmaker that needs the ball in his hands. Now that he’s 100% healthy, it’s time to let Stephen Carr be Stephen Carr.

This is going to be an emotional and extremely close game. Texas is out for revenge after losing to USC last year in double overtime. But if the Trojan’s come into this game prepared and make these adjustments, they can win this game.

Main Photo Credit:

File Photo: The USC Trojan offensive line. September 8, 2018, at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

 

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