Letters to Sports: Lincoln Riley and USC continue to disappoint

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 21, 2023: USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley.

USC coach Lincoln Riley stands on the sideline during a loss to Utah at the Coliseum on Oct. 21. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

If the Trojans were as defensive on the field as Lincoln Riley is in the press room we’d be undefeated.

Rob Raban

Huntington Beach


With USC’s deep pockets buying the head coach and quarterback from Oklahoma, they should dip back into these same deep pockets and send them back.

Ronald Hopkins

Stevenson Ranch


Oh the hype! Oh the disappointment! Plaschke leaps off the Lincoln Riley bandwagon as quickly as he jumped onto it. Next coach, please.

Mike Aguilar

Costa Mesa


Lincoln Riley’s game plan probably couldn’t fit on anything more than an index card. Here are the plays: Run with Caleb Williams and MarShawn Lloyd wrestling for the ball as the defense collapses on them. Caleb with a sling to the right sideline, always within inches of a pick six. Caleb with a deep ball that sometimes finds a mark. No check down passes over the middle, little to no passes into the secondary (who now have USC’s number), little to no misdirection or convincing movement in the backfield … it’s like there’s no there there!

The season’s over as far as I’m concerned. My plan to attend the last two USC home games is over too.

Jon Bucci

Redondo Beach


Hey Caleb, Pout On!

Jim Schweitzer



Lincoln Riley’s teams at USC lack toughness and discipline, struggle with fundamentals, and fail to execute in all three phases. That’s a reflection of poor coaching and poor culture. Unfortunately for USC fans, Riley keeps making excuses and avoids accountability for his assistant coaches. Exciting failures don’t win championships.

Dana Corrough

Laguna Woods


USC fans are probably happy about the sports section’s new format. Instead of seeing their latest disappointing loss in big type on the front page, it was hidden inside Sunday with the soccer and day-old high school results. It was easy to miss, which is also the Trojans’ defensive strategy.

Steve Horn


100-game failures

Jack Harris’ article does a great job explaining what we already know, but leaves out one important factor: Why are 100-plus game winning teams are getting knocked out in the first round again and again? That’s easy. The teams who are succeeding in the playoffs have not had a few weeks off to plan their playoff roster and approach. They’re already battle-tested as they’ve been playing playoff level baseball for some time, whereas the fat cats have lost their edge.

James Maddox

Los Angeles


In his analysis of the Dodgers’ postseason failures, Jack Harris presents more specific clarification than Andrew Friedman has so far. The other teams seem to have an overall approach in the playoffs that’s missing in the Dodgers’ game plan: Urgency. There’s no time to leave a pitcher in to work his way out of a jam. Yank him. Case in point, letting Lance Lynn stay in after giving up back-to-back homers. He then gave up two more. Dodgers lost that game — an elimination game, no less — by, yep, two runs.

Laura Owen

Pacific Palisades

Two wrongs make a wrong

I know Sam Farmer did not write the headline claiming the Rams were “robbed” because of the admittedly generous spot after the fourth-down quarterback sneak. But, if you are a Rams fan whining about a bad call in that loss to the Steelers, at least acknowledge that the play only came about because of two utterly bogus taunting calls against the Steelers.

Michael Leb



I am sick and tired of being at a Rams game at SoFi Stadium and there being more opponent fans then Rams fans. I am sick of season-ticket holders who only buy them to sell them for a profit. At least 80% of the people in my section for the game against the Steelers were Pittsburgh fans. The same was true for the Eagles game two weeks ago. If I, as a Rams fan, am disgusted, think what the Rams players on the field feel when they see 30,000 gold towels waving.

Jim Estes

Santa Monica


Living in Southern California for the last 50 years and being a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan, my dream was to always attend a Steelers home game. Little did I know it was a mile off the 405 freeway in Inglewood.

Barry Smith

Thousand Oaks

Russell reformation

If what you say about Russell Westbrook’s reformation from a “me-first” player to accepting he ain’t what he used to be ability-wise and a willingness to contribute in any way possible, then Hallelujah! The Clippers have won the lottery. I’ve always pretty much sneered at Westbrook’s supposed greatness because of his “me-first” attitude at the expense of improving the play of those around him. If he shows throughout this season his willingness to do that, well, I guess I’ll have to change my attitude also.

John Snyder

Newbury Park


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