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Field Report: USC DC Alex Grinch Responds to Trojans’ Defense CFP Committee “Wanting More”.

ND Wed

football | November 23, 2022

Notes from USC’s Wednesday practice during Notre Dame week:

  • USC’s defense will have their work to do when they face off against Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, the defense coordinator Alex Grinch described as the best tight end in the country. With the Trojans struggling against Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid earlier in the season, Grinch was asked what improvements could be made from that midseason performance.

    • “Tackle him when he has the ball,” Grinch said dryly. “You can come up with a lot of ingredients. You can put two guys on him and one of them, if not both, has to get him on the ground. Now he’s obviously getting a voice and he’s elite at finding ways similar to problems we’ve had in the past [tight ends] tend not to fall easily on first contact. We’re trying to convince the lads that it’s not open to tackles, you’re not alone.”

  • USC moved up one spot to No. 6 in the latest round of Tuesday’s CFP rankings. CFP selection committee chair Boo Corrigan stated that some committee members would like to see more of the USC defense. Alex Grinch commented on the subject on Wednesday.

    • “From the point of view of criticism, Saturdays, that’s your resume. From the coach’s perspective, from the players’ perspective, there is no dodging,” Grinch said. “We are very honest about this and understand that the main goal each week is to find a way to beat the opponent by a margin. After that it is important to play defensively at a high, high level.”

    • “Extra motivation? Definitely not,” Grinch later added. “Just from the point of view you’re in business to win games. We found a way to win 10. We’re going to fight like hell to get 11.”

  • wide receiver Kyle Ford gave the quarterback great credit caleb williams behavior on the field and speculates that his attitude fuels his success amidst the chaos.

    • “He’s one of the calmest quarterbacks I’ve ever seen,” Ford said with a smile. “I just think he’s just playing elegantly the way he’s playing the game. That’s the only word I can describe for it. He’s out there and he’s in the backfield, zigzagging around, doing spin moves, and then he doesn’t get touched and he has a first down and he’s out. Stuff like that is amazing to me and the stuff he pulls off in game. He’s a player. He’s a winner. He practiced like that too, so it’s not a shock to us. “

  • USC’s offensive linemen are semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, an honor given to the nation’s most outstanding offensive line unit. veteran Andrew Vorhees shared on Wednesday what it means to be in the running for the award.

    • “Any time you get recognition for a group award, it’s tremendous,” Vorhees said. “Really grateful for Coach Henson and his daily challenge of us to just do our best, just be physically, technically healthy and task oriented. Kudos to everyone in the room for choosing what Coach Henson is trying to bring to the table.”

Media availability on Wednesday: