Wolf: 10 things USC needs to fix against Arizona State
By Scott Wolf
LOS ANGELES — Does USC ever correct its problems? If it did, the Trojans might still be in the national championship conversation. Instead, they are trying to salvage their season, if they can correct some mistakes.
With that in mind, here are 10 things USC needs to fix to beat Arizona State.
1. Run the ball: When Clay Helton took over for Steve Sarkisian in 2015, he was determined to make the Trojans a running team. It paid off as USC reached the Pac-12 championship game with a muscular ground game. Helton’s got an older, stronger Ronald Jones at tailback today and needs to recommit to the run.
But isn’t the offensive line young? The truth is USC’s older linemen are underachieving more than its freshmen. If it cannot make a physical stand against Arizona State, the season is basically over anyways.
2. Lose and forget: USC got a hard lesson on how far it really is from winning a national championship. The Trojans were a consensus top-four pick before the season. That seems laughable today. USC might not even be a top-25 team.
That is the result of not improving week after week for two months. But if USC sulks over its predicament, Arizona State will be happy to steamroll the Trojans in a sold-out Sun Devil Stadium. It might happen if USC has a hangover from its loss in South Bend.
3. USC is not for everyone: Does offensive line coach Neil Callaway get that he is not coaching in the South? Before coming to USC last year, the Georgia native spent 30 of his previous 34 season at schools in the South.
He abruptly cut off a rare interview Tuesday because he didn’t like the questions after a subpar performance against Notre Dame. This is not Alabama, where position coaches never speak to reporters. […]