Here is a suggestion for USC fans getting some digs from friends about Thursday night's USC lackluster victory over the Hawaii Warriors. Don't play the "this is only the first game" card.
As much as I want to play it myself, I can't help but understand the fact that the USC secondary is an inexperienced youthful bunch. Hawaii's quarterbacks did a great job at exposing the secondary with the help of experienced receivers running excellent routes. Three Warriors receivers garnered more than 100 receiving yards with senior Kealoha Pilares racking up the most of the three with 176 yards.
Furthermore, Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense shed light on Hawaii's second and third-string quarterbacks, who had to fill in for starting quarterback Bryant Moniz, who had to leave late in the third quarter after running into a stonewall in USC linebacker Michael Morgan. Shane Austin came in and made six of nine passes, 141 total yards, and two touchdowns in less than a full quarter's work. Brent Rausch made 3 of 4 passes along with 49 yards in a short time of work.
There are many things to blame on USC's struggling defense last night. Popular choices include poor tackling, true freshman Nickell Robey trying to handle Hawaii senior wide out Greg Salas, linebacker Devon Kennard acting to play free safety, and USC's defensive line unable to handle Hawaii's offensive line as many thought would be fairly easy.
I blame the injuries suffered by USC players during fall practice.
After watching effective players going down on injuries, USC head coach Lane Kiffin decided to hold scrimmages without tackling to help the injury cause. What it translated to was a poor showing of tackling in last night's game.
The brilliant defensive mind in USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin did not display any genious when the final stat line showed the Trojans allow 588 in total yards of offense.
Thursday night's game was a precaution victory for the Trojans, who will now try to make significant adjustments on defense. The true winners are the Pac-10 quarterbacks. They are salivating on USC's secondary, darkening the already drawn circle on their calendar when they face the Trojans, and preparing to add on to the nightmare that USC may suffer down the road.