Jeremy Hogue's mailbag
September, 12, 2012
By Jeremy Hogue | ESPN Insider
Rich Kane/Icon SMIUSC stuck with its running game against Syracuse, giving Silas Redd his first 100-yard game as a Trojan. It'll need to continue that this weekend against Stanford.Each week, WeAreSC columnist Jeremy Hogue will answer strategy and USC team questions in this mailbag:
1) Khaled Holmes left the Syracuse game with an injury. If he cannot play against Stanford, how does that impact the USC offensive line?
The line play so far this season has been surprisingly inconsistent. With four returning starters, I expected it to be a strength out of the gate, and while I still expect it to develop into that, so far it’s been hit or miss. Against Syracuse, unsuccessful plays were plagued by penetration through the middle of the line, and even some missed assignments. Taking Holmes out of the mix only makes that worse. And while Syracuse was stout up front, the defensive fronts ahead -- particularly Stanford and Utah -- will be tougher. It will be hard for viewers to know what kind of impact Holmes’ injury has, but if you see the pocket collapse on pass protection, if you see penetration on run plays, and if you see defenders unblocked anywhere along the line -- those are the things that may happen more frequently with Holmes out of the game.