USC Motto For Rest of Season: “Stop Committing Stupid Penalties”
The USC Trojans (6-1) are currently ranked ninth in the most recent BCS Standings, but are near the top of the nation in penalties and penalty yardage.
For all the talk of touchdowns and records, the Trojans are on pace to set a record that is not positive by any means. USC is ranked second in the nation in most penalties drawn and 11th in penalty yards. This puts the Trojans on pace to have the most penalized season in football history.
Long story short, the team is inflicting too many wounds onto itself. If the Trojans want to start winning games in a more convincing fashion, then they need to be more disciplined on both sides of the ball.
An intriguing stat to note is that the PAC-12 actually owns four of the ten most penalized teams in the nation. Be that as it may, the Trojans should be more disciplined on the field and it all starts with Lane Kiffin.
The Trojans commit numerous offensive penalties a game, including delay of game, too many men on the field and false starts. This all stems from understanding of snap count and having the right player packages on the field.
I do not want to speculate, but obviously whatever Kiffin is instructing in practice is not working effectively and the Trojans are paying dearly because of these mistakes.
Here is a prime example of the Trojans shaky play from the Colorado game. USC scores a touchdown, then Andre Heidari boots the kickoff out of bounds. Leonard Williams commited a 15-yard personal foul penalty on third down and then later on the drive, a pass interference was called.
All of a sudden the Buffaloes were in USC territory by no work of their own. This was just one of many troubling examples from the season which will make life tough for the Trojans. Questions have been flying Kiffin’s way, who was quick to support his team.
Lane Kiffin was quoted on ESPN as saying that, “I don’t know if the players have ever been talked to like that, especially when they are leading a game by 30. We got the leadership of the team involved, I brought them into my room and we talked, they are going to be taking ownership of this issue as of today.”
This issue should be shouldered on Kiffin but the players must also take responsibility for their sloppy play. The Trojans are young and obviously lack tremendous depth, but that honestly does not grant an excuse for this team.
Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald, Robert Woods, Khaled Holmes, Nickell Robey are experienced leaders on this team who must focus the team like coach Lane Kiffin mentioned. If the veteran leaders on this team can demand perfection at practice, the Men of Troy will improve their sloppy play.
The Trojans better improve quickly, because this team can not afford to give away yards against the likes of ASU, Notre Dame and Oregon.