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New "Inside the Trojans Huddle" (Oct. 4): Grading the ASU game, previewing Washington State, Musings with Arledge, Coliseum entertainment, Pac-12 predications, Viewers Q&A, and more...

Greg Katz10/04/22
Article written by:On3 imageGreg Katz
Greg Katz - ITTH
(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

In this week’s “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle”, panelists Marc Kulkin, Chris Arledge, Erik McKinney, and Greg Katz review and give grades – offensively, defensively, and special teams – for the Arizona State game, preview Saturday’s Washington State game, review the new Coliseum pre and in-game entertainment, Musings with Arledge, Pac-12 Conference game predictions, and viewer questions and panel answers.

In the first quarter, the panel analyzes and grades the Arizona State game by praising Caleb Williams and his return to form, but what grade did they attach to Caleb’s performance? The panel is objective in discussing the running backs and one panelist says that part of the problem was the coaches didn’t run the more, but how did that affect the RB grade? As for the wide receivers, were they efficient enough to garner an “A” grade? Then there is the offensive line, and the panel gives a very sobering and objective grade to the O-line.

Defensively, the panel gives a very stern report card for the individual position groups. There was some interesting grading when it came to the defensive line from how they played in the first half compared to the second half. Was there a panelist that was so displeased with the D-line that they administered a “one-legged ‘A” grade?  Did the panel undervalue the linebacking performances? And about the secondary, while there were some good moments, who was the panelist that called out a player for not giving a big hit on a Sun Devil receiver thereby sending a message? Would you agree or disagree? Overall, was the final defensive report card grade something you’d want to show or brag to your grandparents at a Sunday dinner?

As for special teams, the panel has some very critical thoughts about the overall play of this position unit. Debate centers around whether Lincoln Riley should hire a special teams coach in the future, and how the play of the special teams could play a big part in the outcome of future opponents like Utah in two weeks. The grade? Well, you can probably make an educated guess, but see if you agree.

In the second quarter, the panel exchanges their thoughts and opinions regarding the Washington State game this Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. You might be surprised what a majority of the panel thinks will happen. Will be a close game? Will it be a rout? What will be the keys to victory? And does the panel think the opening odds favoring the Trojans are justified? Is the panel giving Washington State too much or too little respect? And, of course, will Riley’s team be looking past the Cougars for their date in two weeks at Utah; therefore, does it make the WSU game a “trap game.”

For the halftime segment, the panel voices their opinions on the new Coliseum pregame and in-game entertainment. As for the pregame “light show” bringing the players on to the field, there is universal acceptance of trying to bring some Hollywood glitz and glamor as terms of entertainment value. However, there are some not-so-nice comments regarding the need for a D.J. to fire up the masses. A couple of panelists yearn for the days when the Trojans did the SoCal spell-out, and they lament over no halftime card stunts. One panelist doesn’t like the placement of the band near the peristyle end of the Coli and suggests they should be located behind the team’s bench.

In the third quarter, Chris Arledge provides his oral “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle” version of his popular column “Musings with Arledge.” This week, The Arledge takes on and completely levels Oklahoma football and their fans. If you have followed Arledge and his weekly rants about football schools around the country, you know what you will be getting. Barry Switzer? Brent Venables? Nobody is spared. Ironically and to be fair, Arledge admits he has family roots in Oklahoma, and he has been to the state many times and considers himself to be an expert on the state.  

After the traditional lighting of the Chris Arledge Coliseum Torch to signify the transition from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, the panel gives its Pac-12 predictions for Week 6. Can the Bruins upset Utah? Will Oregon take a dive at Arizona? Will Oregon State dominate Stanford, or will the Cardinal pull the upset? And, of course, can the Trojans avoid the upset at the hands of Washington State?

And in Overtime, the panel answers viewer questions regarding Lincoln Riley and his staff’s ability to fix the obvious problems on this still undefeated football team. What recent recruits will eventually commit to the class of 2023? What position is defensive back Domani Jackson best suited for regarding his future with the Men of Troy? What does the panel think of the USC towel-waivers during games on the Trojans’ sideline?