Coach Harvey Hyde breaks down the UNLV victory 9/2
Coach Harvey Hyde breaks down what he saw in USC's 43-21 victory over UNLV to start the 2018 season.
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We start off talking about the offense that Coach Hyde thinks looks the exact same as last year and he has real concerns with the lack of physicality in the red zone. When USC got down inside the 20, it was all quarterback JT Daniels and the receivers instead of the offensive line and the run game. Coach Hyde wants to see more smash mouth football when you get down close and he isn’t seeing that. We also had a question from Earl in West LA about the offensive line not looking ready for the opener for the third year in a row.
Coach also brought up an interesting play where backup quarterback Matt Fink came into the game in the red zone for one play and took a three yard loss. Curtis in Moreno Valley called in about this play, saying that USC needs more room to run and pass when an athletic quarterback comes in because the defense sits on the read option play, looking for the QB to run.
Tight ends and their lack of production was a discussed topic on the show and the coach thinks they are only used as blockers and they don’t really even block all that well. He thinks they need to be utilized more in the offense and we had a couple of questions from listeners that expressed the same concerns. Coach feels tight ends can be a great mismatch but you have to get them involved in the passing game to exploit it.
Going 5-for-5 on field goals is great for the kicker, but not for the offense. USC really had a chance to set the tone early after a fumble recovery by Porter Gustin. But the drive stalled and the Trojans had to settle for a field goal.
Tarik wrote in and wanted to know if Daniels can audible at the line of scrimmage. Coach Hyde thinks he should be able to, that is part of football to get out of bad plays. He said sometimes they would only call a formation and then have several plays ready to go just depending on what the defense would show.
Matt in Woodland wanted to know if it is was some sort of record that USC had 26 players make tackles, from Cameron Smith and Isaiah Pola-Mao leading the way with 7 to several players who finished the night with one. We doubt it is a record, but there were a lot of guys getting in the game and a lot of them made plays.
Coach also goes off during another question about special teams. It doesn’t look like things got any better from last year and that should be a concern going forward.
John from Beaverton called in asking about the offensive line play and what sort of impact having a true freshman center had on the team. Coach Hyde thought Brett Neilon played very well, starting plays well and getting Daniels in a good position to run the play.
Keith in NJ wants to know if coach is concerned if Daniels focuses too much on Amon-Ra St. Brown? Coach Hyde said the team shouldn’t worry about who catches what, just go out and win the game. Everyone has to do their part.