The new-look defense for USC will be on full display in Eugene

Alex Grinch is no longer in control of this defense, but how quickly can they make adjustments as they face Oregon this Saturday.

LOS ANGELES — The new-look USC defense will be an exciting factor this Saturday in Eugene. The Trojans can now flip the page from Grinch and move on from one of the worst defenses this program has ever had.

Here are three takeaways from practice:

Nua and Odom are facing a new challenge

The USC Trojans are currently facing a critical game against the Oregon Ducks, who have displayed an unmatched offensive prowess throughout the season. The Trojans’ hopes of winning the Pac-12 title hang in the balance, and it all depends on their defense’s ability to contain Oregon’s high-scoring offense.

Defensive Line Coach Shaun Nua and Inside Linebackers Coach/Associate Head Coach for Defense Brian Odom have been appointed interim co-defensive coordinators for the remainder of the season. Defensive Analyst Taylor Mays has also been promoted to an on-field assistant coach and will work with the safeties.

The Ducks have been a dominant force at home, averaging almost 56 points per game, making the task at hand all the more challenging for the Trojans.

Nua talked about how to get this defense back on track as they prepare to face the Ducks.

“We gotta find a spark, we gotta get the guys to play as a unit and execute at a high level.”

As Nua visited with the media for the first time as co-defensive coordinator on Tuesday afternoon, he was asked what went wrong with the defense on Saturday night.

“We didn’t make plays, just like you saw on film, we couldn’t get a stop.”

With just two games remaining, it’s natural to wonder whether there’s enough time left to make meaningful progress. However, it’s crucial to remember that every game counts and the team must strive to give their best in each of them. Even with limited time, significant progress can be made by focusing on critical areas of improvement and executing strategies that play to the team’s strengths. Nua was asked how much progress could be made in a short period.

“That’s the million-dollar question.” Nua said.

The other half of this new defense is Brian Odom, who was Grinch and Riley in Oklahoma. Odom emphasizes having a better game plan, as they have a short time to get this defense going.

“The goal of this week obviously is to win the game. But also to be able to put our guys in the situation to play fast, for things to be simple for them and go make a difference when they’re on the field.”

Odom continued to share his respect for the players and attempted not to throw too much new information at them this late in the season.

“You’ve obviously got to be respectful to the players in terms of allowing those guys to play fast and do what they know.”

Caleb Williams remains unaffected by the noise from outside

The world witnessed when USC lost to Washington, and Caleb Williams ran up to the stands to share an emotional moment with his mother. Despite the noise he has been dealing with since the loss, he is not having trouble blocking it.

“I was actually good until you get that kind of the mother’s touch that you get sometimes, you know, you’re all good, you holding it in. You know, being the man, and then you get around your mom, touch your mom, hug your mom, your mom says something to you, and then you kind of just start falling out.”

Williams has been a vocal supporter of mental health awareness, both on and off the field. He understands the importance of being strong in dealing with pressure. While he carried himself differently during his post-game press conference, it was a learning moment for him.

As a result of encountering his first-ever three-game losing season, Williams has found himself in an unprecedented situation in his career. This particular season has tested Williams’ leadership skills as he has managed, navigated, and led his team through a difficult time. Despite the challenges, Williams has maintained composure and remained a steady presence for his team. He has inspired his team to keep pushing forward with two games remaining.

“It’s tough being in this position, I’ve never really been in this position in the season with three losses regardless of where I’ve been high school or being in college.”

It’s not uncommon for high-level athletes to feel disappointed when they lose during high-pressure situations, and Williams, a notable player in this regard, is no exception. Nevertheless, many spectators appreciated Williams’s dedication and enthusiasm during the USC football game.

As evident from their three losses in the previous four games, USC football has faced difficulties recently. These losses have severely impacted the team, and their chances of making it to the Pac-12 championship game are on the verge of fading away.

Latest on MarShawn Lloyd’s absence from the football field

Lloyd returned to practice this week after missing the game against Washington last Saturday. He is currently one of USC’s best offensive players, having transferred from South Carolina. He leads the Trojans with 766 rushing yards this season and has scored eight touchdowns, the most on the team.

The team desperately needs Lloyd’s explosive play, and it would be a game-changer for them if he could join them during their upcoming road trip to Eugene. It’s worth noting that there was no indication of an injury during the Cal game, and no injury was reported about his absence in Week 10. Despite a torn ACL as a true freshman at South Carolina, Lloyd has made a remarkable recovery. He has become one of the most impressive and dynamic runners in college football.

Lloyd, running back, weighs 215 pounds. His weight allows him to burst through sure holes and make huge plays for the offense. He recently transferred to USC to join forces with Riley and Williams in hopes of winning the national championship. It is hoped that his injury is not severe, and he will be able to rejoin the Trojans in Week 11 to face off against the No. 6 Oregon Ducks.