Three takeaways from Stanford’s loss to USC

The primary lack of the Troy Taylor period was ugly: the USC Trojans (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) dominated Stanford (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) 56-10 on the Los Angeles Coliseum, of their final matchup as Pac-12 foes. 

The Trojans’ explosive offense scored on all however one possession within the first half, serving to construct a 49-3 lead earlier than halftime. 56 whole factors is probably the most Stanford has ever allowed USC. Whereas a loss in opposition to No. 6 USC is by no means an indictment on Taylor, particularly this early in his position, the sport supplied helpful insights into Stanford’s soccer program and present group.

1. Stanford’s protection appeared porous in opposition to the Trojans’ high-flying assault

There are some gamers on Stanford’s protection with NFL potential, together with sophomore defensive finish David Bailey, however the group’s protection doesn’t examine to the weapons USC has at its disposal. Trojan receivers Dorian Singer, Mario Williams and Brenden Rice will possible hear their title referred to as throughout subsequent yr’s NFL draft. 

Freshman receiver Zachariah Department already appears to be like just like the second coming of Reggie Bush in simply his third faculty recreation. I’ve not even talked about the previous Heisman winner Caleb Williams, who appeared like some extent guard on turf, distributing the ball shortly to his playmakers. 

It doesn’t matter what changes Stanford made in final week’s recreation, USC powered by with a roaring offense. When Stanford went to dime packages on protection, the Trojans ran the soccer by the tooth of the Cardinal protection. When Stanford sat again in zone, USC attacked the protection by run-pass choices, flat routes and different Cowl three and Cowl 4 beaters. It didn’t assist that the Cardinal couldn’t draw a go rush. 

Asking any group to defend in opposition to USC is a tall process, however it’s made much more difficult with out equally gifted linemen and defensive backs. With tutorial restrictions that restrict the pool of gamers Stanford can recruit, Taylor should hit on his recruits with a really high-accuracy fee as a way to compete with the blue bloods. 

2. The USC protection shut down Stanford TE Ben Yurosek

Coming off a recreation the place he had 9 receptions for 138 yards, it was maybe unsurprising that senior tight finish Ben Yurosek was the primary goal for USC’s sophomore quarterback Ashton Daniels. USC did its homework and the Trojans had been capable of lock up the six-foot-four tight finish for a lot of the recreation. Whereas the 242-pound tight finish from Bakersfield, Calif. completed the sport with 4 receptions for 54 yards, that doesn’t inform the entire story. 

From the movie, it seems USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch referred to as an aggressive match-up zone that allowed beneath defenders to leap routes, notably once they had been on Yurosek. The Trojans had been capable of get their fingers on balls coming Yurosek’s manner quite a few occasions and when the tight finish did catch the ball, he was instantly wrapped up by a USC defender. To keep away from a predictable offense, extra receivers should step up when Stanford will get into the thick of convention play.

3. Stanford’s offense appeared much less cohesive with out quarterback Ashton Daniels 

Daniels suffered an damage early within the second quarter, which knocked him out for the remainder of the sport. After Daniels went down, Syracuse switch Justin Lamson took the helm at quarterback. The offense didn’t function as easily with Lamson and the Cardinal lacked a dynamic athlete who may make fast selections. Whereas it’s unfair to check Lamson’s efficiency in opposition to a top-ten group to Daniels’s efficiency in opposition to a G5 group, the movie makes it clear that Stanford’s gear is completely different when Daniels is within the recreation. 

Lamson had some promising moments, together with a couple of bold performs to deliver the Cardinal into field-goal vary quite a few occasions. However he was unable to attain in a lot of these drives.

It is going to be fascinating to look at how Taylor’s play calling will change to guard Daniels from additional publicity to damage.

The Cardinal hosts its first residence recreation on Sept. 16, because it takes on Taylor’s former group Sacramento State (2-0, 0-0 Massive Sky).