Posted on October 7, 2021
SSo far, 2021 has felt like hell’s appointment to the dentist for USC Trojan football fans.
Heading into the season, there were mild fears that his pain levels were similar to a cavity or a tooth filling.
Two humiliating losses at home and a coach who was later fired, underwent what felt like a five-week-long conduit operation.
The only palliative to maintain sanity in these difficult times has been the phenomenal catcher Drake London.
London has been able to maintain the mental hygiene of USC fans by leading the nation in receiving yards (670), receptions (48) while also leading the Pac-12 in all-purpose yards (672) and not returning a single punt or kickoff.
Drake London Thru 5 Games in 2021: 🙃
4 TD receivers
DeVonta Smith, Heisman, Biletnikoff and Maxwell award winner up to 5 games in 2020:
4 TD receivers pic.twitter.com/A002fMSbY3
– Bryan Carrington (@CoachBC_) October 3, 2021
But is there a chance that the USC offensive and London himself will start to slow down dramatically?
The Trojans currently have the best passing offense in the Pac-12, ranking first in both passing yards (1,509) and yards per game (301.8).
That success can’t be overlooked, but there is as much variety as the meat options at In-N-Out. It only serves burgers for In-N-Out. Name a time when you went from the street to the direct access window in one continuous movement; you can not.
By no means should USC go to any lengths to remedy the lack of diversity in game calls by not targeting London on purpose. If a team is daring or foolish enough to leave their best corner on an island with London, then make them pay.
Just look at this touchdown he had against Colorado last Saturday.
YOU’RE CRAZY, DRAKE LONDON 🔥
– PFF University (@PFF_College) October 2, 2021
But plays like this could eventually lead to problems.
Throwing triple coverage could work against an intermediate defense like Colorado, but could this work when the Trojans take on Utah and Arizona State University? These teams are the best defenses the Pac-12 has to offer.
In particular, Utah has done an excellent job putting the number one receiving option teams in a straitjacket, allowing them to average just 40 yards per game.
In the Utes’ loss to San Diego State, they didn’t let a single Aztec finish with 16 receiving yards on the day. Your eyes are not deceiving you: 16 meters.
London could rack up 16 yards if he had to run his routes while balancing an egg on a spoon, but the point remains.
Following our fast food analogy, USC’s offensive predictability could be mitigated by finding French fries to go along with the double-double. But there is no clear answer as to who those fries could be.
No Trojan other than Drake London has accumulated 57 receiving yards in one game. The other USC receivers, including Tahj Washington, Gary Bryant Jr. and Kyle Ford, are mere afterthoughts for opposing defensive coordinators.
Perhaps rookie tight end Michael Trigg could bring out that much-needed double team, but the jury is still out on him.
– USC Soccer (@USC_FB) August 18, 2021
Beyond the X’s, O’s, and box scores, there’s also a tick-tock-sized voice in the back of my head that says, “Does heavy use of Drake London put you at higher risk for? an injury?”
This is not an excavation into the value and physicality of London, quite the contrary. Those qualities are the hallmark of its effectiveness. But could his strength also be a weakness? Take this astonishing attack on the state of Washington as an example.
Mom there goes that man 💨 @DrakeLondon
USC 35 | WSU 14
– USC Soccer (@USC_FB) September 18, 2021
His ability to castrate the corner allowed him to make the catch, but it also led to him being unable to get up and he looked terrifying for a moment.
He left the game with concussion symptoms right after this, but did it again the following week against Oregon State.
He would not be the first virtuoso to be physically affected by her strength.
On multiple occasions, Louis Armstrong had blood draining from his lips while performing on stage due to the immense pressure he exerted on the trumpet. It was also reported that he began to form calluses on his lips that he was able to cut with a razor blade.
London’s first half performance is an understatement for realizing that even the greatest talents and best performances imaginable can have funky side effects.