All I kept reading about after Week One of the new season was how star freshman QB Matt Barkley played loose and stayed under control at all times while guiding the Trojans for 3 quarters. How the 5-headed Trojan RB monster (yes, we shall include Marc Tyler, who would be starting at half the Pac-10 schools) ran all over the SJSU defense, pulling away in the second quarter with 4 touchdowns alone after slow start. How the Heisman Watch should begin for Joe McKnight, who – if you haven’t heard already – is really, really good.
Joe McKnight gained 105 yards vs OSU in '08, but did not score aTD.
Was any of this really a surprise? Of course not. But this week we will get to see what the Trojans are really made of after losing several first and second rounder’s to the NFL including, including 3 talented veteran players at the Linebacker position. The real story will be how the USC Defense reacts to stiff competition against the best team year after year in Big10 this decade.
Perhaps their toughest challenge of the year,the Trojan Defense will face Terrelle Pryor, the 6 foot 6, 235 pounder with a canon arm and speed in the 4.3s. Navy seemed to have a great formula to at least contain Pryor, and USC is hard at work studying that game film. But let’s be real here, Navy’s defense doesn’t have the size, speed or talent level that USC has on its second team let alone the starters.
Don't be surprised if you see this scenario a few times on Saturday.
The Secondary, led by All-American Taylor Mays and Josh Pinkard who moves back to CB from Safety, will make it tough on Pryor to find one of his young receivers. The speedy LB corp will be the main difference here as the new crop seems faster than last year and able to disrupt plays at will. We know Pete will be bringing the pressure early and often, and the Trojan Offense will be in full hand-off mode to take the playmakers in the Buckeye Secondary out of the game.
Has the #2 ever looked smaller?
Final Score: USC 42 – OSU 13