USC 28 - Texas A&M 35: Thoughts on Loss #5

Better Offense, Same Old Defense

It's fitting that our 5th loss this season came against the Aggies. In just 1.75 seasons beginning from August 28th, 2014, when we opened with an embarrassing loss to Texas A&M at Williams-Brice, we have now precisely matched our loss total for the 4 seasons between 2010-2013. Earlier this century I might have been satisfied coming within a score of beating a 16-point favorite at their 107k+ capacity stadium. One thing the Steve Spurrier years taught me was no more moral victories. We had a chance to win and couldn't finish.

Having said that, however, it was good to see the improvement in our offense. We entered the game with one of the worst red zone offenses in the nation, but we went 3 for 3 against A&M. I thought Mangus's play calling was exceptional and played to our strengths. We had 253 yards rushing, with Wilds getting his 2nd consecutive 100-yard game. And who would have thought Perry Orth would ever be able to get 66 yards on a QB draw? I liked seeing Nunez back on the field, and not at QB. Given the lack of play makers at WR we could use his athleticism in some shape or form, but Orth gives us the best chance to win at QB. Orth needs to play better though; I don't blame him much for the pick-6, that was just a great defensive play call, but he has to know he can't take sacks in the situation he was in on the final drive.

If the Offense is finally showing signs of life, the same can't be said for the Defense. We consistently put a 5-man box up against 5 O-lineman and a very adept dual-threat QB. I'm not a pro at defensive play calling, but that just seems stupid. Our coaches on that side of the ball continue to let our players down. It will be interesting to see if anything changes when we face Josh Dobbs and Tennessee.......

Watch the game again here: