Back on Track?
No reason to rehash the UW game. The Trojans were sloppy, got some bad calls and survived. The Trojans have an established history of struggling in Pac 10 road openers under Pete Carroll...that trend continues. A couple of bright spot from the game
- Chauncey Washington is regaining form. CW looked physical and had several runs where he pushed the pile. A healthy CW will make a difference this year
- Patrick Turner looked and played like an experienced player who can be counted on in the clutch. In difficult conditions, PT caught everything
- Fred Davis continues to look outstanding
- Despite suffering 2 OL injuries 0n 1 play in the 1st quarter, the Trojan OL plowed the way for over 200yds rushing while protecting Booty
- The defense was very stout....the Trojans contained Locker better than any other team has this year
- Rey Rey is playing SO MUCH better at MLB....this combined with the play of Rivers is very encouraging. Just wait until Cushing returns
Here is the highlight video prepared by the USC staff and shown to the team before the UW game. Somehow got posted on YouTube. Pretty cool.
- Stanford is obviously struggling, but I will point out a couple of things to watch for
- Stanford's defense is incredibly aggressive...they blitz on almost every play. This allows them to make big plays (averaging 3 sacks per game vs 1.75 for the Trojans, including 6 sacks last week vs ASU)
- Stanford is 2nd in the conference in tackles for loss (big play defense), but ranks 9th in total defense and scoring defense (still giving up big plays)
- This might be the game where USC breaks out the screen game. We have not seen the screen this year, but then again the Trojans have not been under much pressure
- The Cardinal tend to leave the middle of the field wide open...this plays right into the hands of Fred Davis and Anthony McCoy
- I expect a big game from Joe McKnight...if he can make the first guy miss it will be a big gain. Hopefully a couple of punt returns
- Stanford has a much improved passing game (ranked 4th in the conference), but starting quarterback TC Ostrander will miss the game with the Trojans
- Taking his place is a RS Soph who has thrown 3 career passes....a very tough venue for his first start
- He is an athletic kid and will likely take off and run often as well as move the pocket to avoid pressure. He will likely look to dump the ball to running back Anthony Kimble as well
- Stanford does have a very good group of wideouts. USC recruited Evan Moore and Mark Bradford, but Richard Sherman has done the most damage this year. Sherman is averaging an impressive 17 yds per catch...the question is will the Cardinal be able to get him the ball
This game is a total mismatch on paper....let's hope the Trojans come out focused and ready to play. See you Saturday!