In this week’s “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle”, panelists Marc Kulkin, Chris Arledge, Kevin Bruce, and Greg Katz review and give grades – offensively and defensively – for the Oregon State game, preview Saturday night’s Arizona State game, answer the questions of whether the Oregon State DC out-coached the USC OC, Caleb Williams chances of winning the Heisman after a tough time at Oregon State, Musings with Arledge, Pac-12 Conference game predictions, and viewer questions and panel answers.
In the first quarter, the panel discusses and analyzes the Oregon State game and guess which side of the ball got the cheers and which side of the ball got the raspberries? The overall grade for the offense was obviously not an “A” evaluation, but what was it? There was much discussion about why Caleb Williams struggled with Oregon State until the winning drive, and the panel pointed out some of the game management issues on offense, which were not players responsibilities.
Defensively, the panel gives its highest praise of the season to DC Alex Grinch and the defense as a whole. It’s a far cry from the evaluations of the previous three games against Rice, Stanford, and Fresno State, respectively. Guess who got the most individual praise on defense? Let’s put it this way, it was a “tall” order to give credit where credit was due. And how about the Trojans’ secondary and its four interceptions? Did that earn this unit an “A” grade or did somebody on the panel see a lower grade?
As for special teams, the panel has some very mixed feelings on the direction of this unit. There were highs and lows during the game in this phase of the team, and the panel has a lot of opinions on the Trojans’ coverage teams, placekicking, and punting.
In the second quarter, the panel exchanges their thoughts and opinions regarding the Arizona State game this Saturday night at the Coliseum. Let’s put it this way, the Sun Devils didn’t get a lot of respect and love from the panel. The assessment of where the ASU program of today harkens back on where USC was a year ago after Clay Helton was fired. One panelist says the only real intrigue is how many fans will show up at the Coliseum on Saturday night or elect to watch the game on ESPN?
For the halftime segment, the panel voices their opinions on (A) Did the Oregon State defensive coordinator out-coach the USC offensive coordinator? and (B) Did Caleb Williams play below expectations at Oregon State to the point of mortally wounding his hopes of winning the Heisman Trophy this season? There is agreement as to whether Oregon State defensive coordinator Trent Bray out-coached USC’s offensive guru, Lincoln Riley. Will the panel side with the OSU DC or will they come to the rescue of Coach Lincoln?
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 critics of “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle” and takes dead aim at the fans of the Oregon State Beavers. As only he can, CA manages to drag in the rest of the Pac-12 fan base into his usual outstanding rant and brings chuckles to even the panel members. It’s another classic oral dissertation. In the end, which fan base does he praise but not for the reasons you may think?
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 5. Will Washington defeat host UCLA on Friday night? Can Washington State recover from the Oregon debacle in time to avoid a loss to Cal in Pullman? Will Oregon State be able to rebound after its loss to the Trojans to make a game of it at Utah? The panel thinks it knows that answers.
And in Overtime, the panel answers viewer questions regarding why it takes so long to get offensive plays in from the bench – from Lincoln Riley to Caleb Williams. What’s the deal with Korey Foreman? Does Lincoln Riley have some stuff in his playbook to make his famed counter running play less a defensive focal point? Will Pat Haden or Lynn Swann ever be welcomed back to the Trojans’ sideline? The panel has all the answers.