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New "Inside the Trojans' Huddle" (Sept. 20): Grading the Fresno State game, Oregon State preview, Musings with Arledge, Pac-12 games predictions, and more...

Greg Katz09/20/22
Article written by:On3 imageGreg Katz
Greg Katz - ITTH
(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

For this week’s “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle”, panelists Marc Kulkin, Chris Arledge, Steve Bisheff and Greg Katz review and give grades – offensively and defensively – to the Stanford game, preview Saturday night’s huge Oregon State game, give a first quarter grade to the 2022 season, Musings with Arledge, Pac-12 Conference game predictions, and viewer questions and panel answers.

In the first quarter, the panel discusses and analyzes the Trojans non-conference win over Fresno State. Without putting on cardinal and gold glasses, the panel tells it like it is in giving objective views on the performance of QB Caleb Williams and it’s not straight “A” report card. However, there was one offensive unit that did get an “A” grade across the board. Was it the running backs, receivers, or the offensive line? Who shined and who didn’t on offense in the eyes of the panel?

Defensively, the panel is very objective but split on the positives and the negatives. One particular player on defense drew unanimous praise, and all the panelists predicted a very bright future for this Trojans. So, what were the positive and negative performances of the defense at each level, a defensive group that allowed only 17 points for the game? The panel seemed to be in agreement in specific areas and individuals. There were comments and commentary about what the current level of defensive performances and what it means for the future success of the 2022 Trojans.  

As for special teams, the panel acknowledges the positive work of the kickoff and placekicker on this 2022 edition of the special teams, but the panel is less than complimentary over the kickoff coverage and kickoff team. You can compare your thoughts to those of the panel.

In the second quarter, the panel exchanges their thoughts and opinions regarding the Oregon State game this Saturday night in Corvallis. There is a history of upsets up at Reser Stadium in Corvallis going back all the way to the late 60s under Beavers coach Dee Andros, The Great Pumpkin. The Beavers team in 1967 upset the eventual USC national championship 3-0 in the mud and rain. The panel projects just what the Men of Troy need to do on offense and defense against head coach Jonathan Smith’s surging Oregon State Beavers (3-0) to be successful.  

For the halftime segment, grades are given for the first quarter of the season. The panel was asked what has surprised them about the 2022 Trojans and what has disappointed them. The panel varied in their answers regarding surprises and disappointment.

In the third quarter, Chris Arledge provides his “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle” version of his popular column “Musings with Arledge.” This week, the Arledge takes on ESPN national columnist Bill Connelly as Connelly has taken on the Trojans. Leave it to “The Arledge” to cut Connelly down into tiny morsels as only he can. It is one of Arledge’s best rants yet, and it all makes perfect sense. And by the way, Arledge mentions that Connelly says the 1972 Trojans are only the 29th best all-time college football team. Ridiculous and Arledge points it out.   

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 4. Aside from the Trojans’ prediction that addresses the points spread, the panel gives their takes on the rest of the conference games and there was more than one panelist who predicts UCLA will be upset in Colorado and that Arizona is going to do the same at Cal? Who was it? And what about that conference game between visiting and once beaten Oregon at undefeated Washington State?

And in Overtime, the panel answers viewer questions regarding the effectiveness of the “BLVD” within Trojans athletics, and a Korey Foreman question. There is also a question of whatever happened to USC wide receiver Jake Smith?