The USC Trojans continue to work on overcoming their defensive struggles as the 2021 season progresses. Tackling has notably been a weak point for USC defensive unit this year.
Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, spoke with the media after Wednesday practice and addressed the weakness head on.
“Collectively, we got to get better in space. That’s where we have been struggling right now - just taking angles and just being confident,” Orlando said. “When guys are one-on-one in spaces, there’s some hesitation and we just got to eliminate it.”
“Go after the guy, take your best shot, change the speed of momentum, but more importantly, define it for the other guys that are chasing the football.”
When questioned if USC’s tackling had regressed, Orlando’s response was simple.
“We work at it everyday. It’s one of those things where it’s a collection of bodies. Anybody that’s ever played this game is going to miss a tackle. It just goes to getting people to run to the football and just eliminate space,” Orlando said.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Utah, Orlando noted that the Utes’ offense has a dynamic run game. On the flip, their pass game is led by sophomore quarterback Cam Rising, who has an accurate arm. Rising has thrown 34-for-57 with 319 passing yards and four touchdowns this season.
The Trojans' defense will need to contain the Utes' ground game if they want to find success in the Coliseum.
“They are going to be tough, fundamental, well coached,” Orlando said. “We know they are going to try to run the football at us right off the bat.”
The USC Trojans take on the Utah Utes, Oct. 9, at 5:00 p.m. PT at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC leads the all-time-series 13-6.