New “Inside the Trojans’ Huddle” (Tuesday, Jan. 9) edition: State of the football program, assessing Lincoln Riley, MVP newcomers, Big Ten Lightning Round, viewers’ Q&A, and more

Greg Katzby:Greg Katz01/09/24
Inside the Trojans' Huddle: USC status after two years with Lincoln Riley


In Tuesday’s edition of Inside the Trojans Huddle, panelists Marc Kulkin, Erik McKinney, Chris Arledge, and Greg Katz analyze the state of the USC football program, evaluate Lincoln Riley after two seasons, newcomers MVPs, a new Big Ten Lightning Round, viewers’ Q&A, and more.  

First Quarter

In the first quarter of the Huddle, the panel scrutinizes USC on-the-field after two years of the Lincoln Riley regime. What are the positives, and what are the negatives? The focus is on the offense and the defense. There are various views of where the positives were, but there is a consensus regarding where the main negative resides.

The panel then transitions to off-the-field scrutiny after two seasons of Riley’s program, the positives and the negatives, which include recruiting, the transfer portal, and the NIL. Things get interesting as the panel has various views and is not afraid to disagree with each other.

Second Quarter

In the second quarter of the Huddle, the panel takes a deep dive into Trojans’ head coach Lincoln Riley and is asked what are the coach’s biggest achievements of his two seasons? Conversely, the panel looks at Riley’s biggest disappointments. Given the size of Riley’s monetary contract for ten years, has the return been as good as the investment? The panel takes a frank look at the question and, at times, has some intense and heated exchanges through disagreements.    


The panel gives their MVP choices for the top 2023 Trojans’ newcomers on offense and defense. There seems to be a surprise name on defense and and some interesting takes on offense. Defensively, one panelist compares a freshman defender to Michigan’s standout defensive tackle Mason Graham. Offensively, the MVP goes to one of the young receivers, but which receiver was it?

Third Quarter

In the third quarter, the panel gives their rapid responses to this week’s Big Ten Lightning Round of questions. Among the topics for the lightning round include the Rose Bowl and the CFP, 2024 schedule, Dorian Singer, quarterback numbers, the transfer portal calendar, Jim Harbaugh, the Big Ten Network, former Trojan QB Malachi Nelson, and LSU 2024 odds.

The Big Ten bonus question? The panel answers the question: What is your favorite Las Vegas hotel, and are the panel gamblers? Guess who the gamblers are and who aren’t?

Fourth Quarter

Following the lighting of the WeAreSC symbolic Coliseum torch between the third and fourth quarters of the Huddle, the panel answers viewers’ questions. Questions were asked about the Huddle and accessibility, the transfer portal, quarterback numbers, Ceyair Wright, D’Anton Lynn Trojans’ defense, receiver favorites, NIL and money, Reggie Bush and the Heisman return, and even a USC basketball question.  


The panel gives their opinions regarding Monday night’s Michigan win over Washington in the CFP National Championship Game. There is agreement on what USC could learn from the Michigan victory as benchmarks going forward.

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

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