For all the Norm Chow sympathizers out there – forget it, Norm is gone and he's never returning. Coach O, on the other hand at 9-27 is not exactly tearing up the SEC. Coach O is assistant coach material, maybe he wants to rejoin a winner. His fire is just what this Trojan team needs.
If I Were Coach I Would Light a Fire Under the Players' Seats
What a disaster of a football game the Trojans encountered this weekend in Eugene. The final nail of the coffin of their National Championship hopes was hammered in on a warm Saturday afternoon in Eugene.
How quickly the mighty have fallen. Doomsday prognosticators may now revel in the misfortunes of the Trojans. While USC sat at or near the top of the polls for the last five years, they have been very much a team despised. Nobody loves a winner.
Making sense of the 2007 Men of Troy's disappointing year led me to think, "What would I do if I was coach?"
If I Were Coach I Would Take Bigger Chances
Mark Sanchez has been the quarterback for the USC Trojans for the last three weeks. During these three weeks the play calling has bordered on conservative. This is understandable, as coaches do not want to put Sanchez in harms way, exposing him to the risk of throwing interceptions or making mistakes. While that may have been a good idea in game one, three weeks have passed, and it's time to open up the playbook. A careful team is usually a losing team.
If I Were Coach, There Would Be a Competition for Quarterback Starting Monday
In all likelihood, that will be true come Monday, if John David Booty is healthy enough to play full-time. The adventure of Sanchez' plight of leading the team has lost some of its luster over the loss to the Oregon Ducks.
All things being equal, the competition for the starting position could be viewed as almost equal at this point, with a slight edge to Booty due to his 1-1/2 years of experience as the starter. Booty is also a dead accurate passer who is not rattled easily. Sanchez may just be the quarterback of the future.
If I Were Coach, I Would Play Smash-Mouth Football
Even with the loss of several running backs and offensive linemen, USC still has the horses in the backfield and a dominating front four. Student-Body Right and off-tackle sweeps would still work with this team. Run the ball until the opposing defense is gasping for air. Run it down their throats.
If I Were Coach, I Would Step-up the Defense
Blitz. Pressure the quarterback. Pound the quarterback into submission. At surprises me is the lack of pressure the Trojans have applied to the quarterback this year. Is it because of a poor pass rush? Fewer blitzes? Whatever the case, rattling opposing quarterbacks is a Pete Carroll signature, which has been lost this year. Speaking of lost signatures, the turnover to takeaway ration is down, the confidence level of the team has waned and the fire of this team seems not quite right. I don't know that any of this can be fixed, but if I were coach, I would fix it.