USC defense exposed in loss to Utah, extending the Alex Grinch debate into a long 2023 offseason

The USC defense did get one turnover against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and it did get a stop on the first possession of the second half, but those moments of success were relatively few and far between. Over the course of 60 minutes, this Trojan defense was ultimately exposed.

Utah was tougher. Utah was more physical. Utah was better. We don’t have to pretend otherwise. Sure, USC was crushed by injuries, but we have to remember that Utah didn’t have Brant Kuithe, or Tavion Thomas, or Van Fillinger, or Jonah Elliss. Those are all really important players for the Utes.

Utah, not USC, had the quality depth on the field in Las Vegas.

USC’s defense did not hold up.

Dalton Kincaid got his. The Utah running game overpowered USC up front. Tuli Tuipulotu wasn’t able to make enough of an impact.

Oh, and then there were all the missed tackles.

It’s hard to say Alex Grinch coached well with all of these mistakes, but it’s just as hard if not harder to ignore that USC didn’t have the personnel. The Trojans lacked the dudes needed to win.

We really are going to have the Alex Grinch conversation throughout the next nine months leading up to the start of the 2023 season, right?

(We will, assuming Riley doesn’t move for another defensive coordinator.)

Here’s how the night went for USC’s defense, in live action and live responses:

THE GOAL FOR THE NIGHT

100 PERCENT, YES

12 PLAYS, 3 POINTS

FEELING IT

KEY POINT

MORE SHAW

TAKEAWAY SIREN!

THE NUMBER KEEPS CLIMBING

VIDEO

NOT GOOD

IT'S A 4-DOWN GAME

FIRST 3RD-DOWN CONVERSION BY EITHER TEAM -- 4 MINUTES LEFT IN FIRST HALF

VERY LUCKY

HERE WE GO AGAIN

AND AGAIN

SIGH

LUCKY

BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER -- NEXT PLAY

BOTH UTAH GAMES

MISTAKES KEEP COMING

THE HIT

REPEATED THEME

PLAYOFF GRAVEYARD

SOUNDS FAMILIAR

SAYS IT ALL

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire