The USC Trojans endured another painful loss in CFB’s Week 10 action as the Washington Huskies hung 52 points on the home team. It was the eighth time this season USC had allowed at least 28 points. USC responded by firing second-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch on Sunday afternoon.
Now 7-3, the Trojans are looking more toward the 2024 season than playing for anything meaningful in its remaining two regular season games.
USC Fires Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch
Grinch joined Oklahoma in 2019 as Riley’s defensive coordinator and later followed him to Los Angeles in 2021. However, Grinch’s defenses have consistently fallen short of Riley’s high-scoring offenses at both schools. This season, despite the addition of new talent from the transfer portal, USC’s defense has been entirely ineffective under Grinch’s leadership.
During the offseason, USC and Coach Riley emphasized the importance of patience and expressed optimism regarding the defense’s progress with the addition of more talent and time.
USC brought in defensive players like Georgia lineman Bear Alexander and Oklahoma State linebacker Mason Cobb through the transfer portal, but unfortunately, the performance of the unit did not improve. In fact, USC ranked 87th in ESPN’s defense SP+ metric both last season and this season, despite their efforts to strengthen the team through transfers.
In their last six games, USC’s defense has allowed an average of 42.0 points and 483.7 yards per game. This season, the Trojans are ranked 119th out of 130 FBS teams, allowing an average of 436.9 yards per game. Additionally, they are ranked 121st in the nation in points allowed per game, giving up an average of 34.5 points.
USC’s defense has struggled in their past three games, leading to frustration among fans and calls for Grinch to be fired on social media.
USC will replace Grinch with a co-defensive coordinator role between defensive line coach Shaun Nua and linebackers coach Brian Odom.