USC, Riley fire DC Grinch after 52-42 loss to UW
Paolo Uggetti, ESPNNov 5, 2023, 04:11 PM ET
After USC surrendered 101 overall points in the past two games, protective coordinator Alex Grinch was relieved of his tasks, Trojans coach Lincoln Riley revealed Sunday.Grinch, who was
Oklahoma’s protective coordinator from 2019 to 2021 before leaving for USC along with Riley, led an unit that permitted approximately 34.5 points per game this season and was in the bottom 30 in the nation in almost every statistical category, including 120th in hurrying defense and 107th versus the pass.In a declaration sent out through a USC representative, Riley named protective line coach Shaun Nua and linebackers coach Brian Odom as co-defensive organizers for the remainder of the season.Even returning to
last season, when USC ended up the year allowing 47 points to Utah in the Pac-12 title game loss and 46 indicate Tulane in the Cotton Bowl loss, Grinch had actually been the subject of much criticism surrounding his and the system’s efficiency. “As a coach, you don’t deflect,”Grinch, who regularly took duty for the defense’s shortcomings on a weekly basis, stated at practice recently.” I couldn’t be more disappointed in myself and the failure to get the guys to be more sound. “Throughout the offseason, USC and Riley specifically preached perseverance and gave a positive outlook on the development the defense would make with more time and more talent. Yet even as USC utilized the transfer website to bring in protective players such as former Georgia lineman Bear Alexander and previous Oklahoma State linebacker Mason Cobb, to name a few, the efficiency of the system did not enhance. USC finished last season as the 87th-ranked team in defensive SP+. This season, it’s ranked 87th. Editor’s Picks 2 Related Riley had, until now, waited Grinch and his efforts, however after Saturday night’s 52-42
loss to Washington(USC’s 3rd defeat in four games ), with the defense permitting 572 backyards of offense and 52 points, Riley might only default to not wanting to answer” big picture questions”as it related to Grinch and the defense.”I called a head coach, everything falls under my obligation eventually,” Riley said. “I do not shy away from that and
never have, however there are times and places for those conversations and those will take place at the suitable time.”One source near to the program told ESPN after Saturday’s game that Grinch was”for all intents and purposes”done at USC, and while
some thought Riley would wait up until after the season to let him go, the coach waited less than 24 hr to make the move.After suffering its second conference loss of the year, USC now requires to win out and get much assistance to have a shot at receiving the Pac-12 title.
The Trojans head to Oregon next week to face a Ducks group that, like Washington, includes among the best offenses in the country with plenty to play for.And while Grinch was certainly the face of USC’s defensive concerns, Riley and the rest of his staff have their work cut out for them as the program heads to the Big Ten next season wishing to not waste a top-five offense in the country like they have the previous two seasons.