Lincoln Riley was asked after Saturday’s 50-49 win over Cal if repeated defensive issues will force him to think about philosophy changes or staff changes on the defensive side of the football.

The second-year USC head coach said he’s focused on Washington.

“I’m gonna try to beat Washington next week, those are my thoughts,” Riley said. “That’s my job, is to get this team ready that’s sitting at 5-1 in the best conference in America to try to go win it. That’s where my focus is.”

USC trailed Cal 43-29 early on in the fourth quarter. In a game that featured 34 combined offensive possessions between the two teams, USC’s defense was left exposed time and time again.

But Cal put up 527 yards of offense at 6.5 yards a play.

It marked the third time this season USC has given up 500 yards to an opposing offense in a game, and the eighth time in 23 games under Riley.

In the 84 games prior to Riley’s arrival, USC surrendered 500 yards to an opponent eight total times.

Riley faced calls to part with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch at the end of last season, but elected to bring Grinch back for a second year.

The two were together at Oklahoma prior to USC and Riley has defended him at each turn.

“The reality is, are there areas where we have to be better defensively? Of course, there are. But, the flip side of that is offensively you can’t put them in bad positions,” Riley said. “We can’t give up another couple of kickoffs where we put them in terrible field position, or some three-and-outs.

“The turnover there at the end is the perfect example. The defense did their job, get the offense the turnover, and then one freaking play and they’re right back out there with terrible field position. That’s not bad defense, that’s bad offense. That’s bad team football.”

Riley said the Pac-12 has “a lot of parity” this season and any team can give anyone fits at any time. He pointed to a 15-7 Washington win over Arizona State in Week 8 where the Huskies won without an offensive touchdown.

Asked if he still believes this USC team can win a Pac-12 title, Riley answered with an emphatic yes.

He said the defense needs to be better, but so does the offense and so do the special teams units.

“If we keep fighting the way we fought today, it will get better,” Riley said.