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New “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle” (Tuesday, Jan. 2) edition: USC Holiday Bowl review, assessing Lincoln Riley’s second season, MVPs, Big Ten Lightning Round, viewers’ Q&A, national title prediction, and more.

Greg Katzby:Greg Katz01/02/24
Inside the Trojans' Huddle: USC's Holiday bowl win and Lincoln Riley's second season


In Tuesday’s edition of “Inside the Trojans Huddle,” panelists Marc Kulkin, Erik McKinney, Chris Arledge, and Greg Katz analyze and discuss Wednesday’s USC Holiday Bowl victory, analysis of the 2023 season and Lincoln Riley’s second season, Trojan’s MVPs, Big Ten Lightning Round, viewers’ Q&A, and more.  

First Quarter

In the first quarter of the Huddle, the panel gives their review of the Trojans’ stirring 42-28 win over Louisville in the DIRECTV Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Is Miller Moss, who seemed very controlled running the offense, the starter in 2024 against LSU, and just how much should the win over Louisville mean, given both rosters were adjusted for the game? An interesting topic was the Trojans’ secondary, and there appeared to be improvement in tackling in the secondary.

Second Quarter

In the second quarter of the Huddle, the panel gives their individual perspective on not only the 2023 season, but Lincoln Riley’s second season as USC head football coach. What went right in 2023, and what went wrong? Did Lincoln Riley fail the 2023 season, and where did it all begin to unravel? The panel doesn’t hold back, and the foursome was in total agreement about Riley’s biggest error prior to the season. Did QB Caleb Williams regress, or did he become too undisciplined the offense to the detriment of the offense?    


The panel gives their choices as the MVP of the 2023 USC offense and defense. Perhaps viewers will be shocked or at least mildly surprised when it comes to naming the offensive MVP or, should we say, Co-MVPs. Hmm, you can probably guess one of the recipients but the other? As for defense, you could argue there wasn’t an MVP. However, one name did rise above the others, which is probably not a surprise. Don’t think you need a hint on this one.   

Third Quarter

In the third quarter, the panel gives their rapid responses to the Big Ten Lightning Round of questions. Among the topics for the lightning round include Miller Moss in 2024, Makai Lemon and the portal, more defensive changes, offensive changes, Traveler missing in San Diego, Kliff Kingsbury, quarterback depth, 2024 season ticket sales, and transfers.

The Big Ten bonus question? The panel answers the question: What is your 2024 New Year’s resolution? Naturally, answers varied depending on the question, and perhaps the most intriguing question was in regards to Makai Lemon. Is he coming or is he going by way of the portal?

Fourth Quarter

Following the lighting of the WeAreSC symbolic Coliseum torch between the third and fourth quarters of the Huddle, the panel leads in the viewers’ questions and panel answers section of the video podcast. Questions were asked about the future in the Big Ten, the offense without Caleb, Pete Carroll in a four-team playoff, tackling improvement, quarterback leadership, program morale, the USC offense under Miller Moss, new defensive coaches, Taylor Mays and Doug Belk secondary coaches, Big Ten confidence, and discipline improvements.


The panel predicts the College Football Playoff Championship Game on Monday Night between No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 Washington, both 14-0. Three of the panelists picked Washington, while one member said Michigan. Who is the dissenter?

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USC Trojans videos from Los Angeles, California, from the staff of WeAreSC.

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