The USC (no. 20, 0-1, 0-0) junior was coming off a 89-reception, 1,454 yard, 10-touchdown 2015 season. Alabama (no. 1, 1-0, 0-0) cornerback Marlon Humphrey and company blanketed the 6-2, 220 pound All Pac-12 First Team talent for the entire four quarters. “I think the key was, he (Juju Smith-Schuster) was a big, physical receiver,” the Hoover HS product said. “He likes to push up and down the field, so the main thing for me was to get my hands on him. We had a couple of defensive calls that had the safety over the top. Just every time I had the opportunity to hit him I tried to hit him.” Three completions of the 18 attempted passes for 11, 16 and 36 to Deontay Burnett , Steven Mitchell, Jr. and Darreus Rogers accounted for 63 of the 130 total yards gained through the air.
Facing a second down and eight at his own 12-yard line, Trojan quarterback Max Browne had his passed tipped by linebacker Reuben Foster and USC wide receiver Burnett. Humphrey gathered in the deflection and returned the pass for an 18-yard touchdown, a career first pick six for the 6-1, 196 pound redshirt sophomore and longest in AdvoCare Classic history. The 2015 All-SEC Freshman performer recorded his fourth career aerial theft in the decisive victory. He finished the evening with two tackles, one solo and a tackle for loss (-3). Even Nick Saban was pleased with the efforts of the entire defensive backfield's efforts to negate a star from Los Angeles.
BamaMag.com spoke to the all-star caliber defender after the win.