Sarkisian breaks down Arizona

Steve Sarkisian addressed the media after Tuesday's practice and discusses Arizona's offensive line, what USC needs to do to win, and more.

USC is coming off a disappointing loss to Arizona State, but the Trojans hope that Saturday's contest at Arizona will give them a shot at redemption.

"It’s going to be a great challenge for us," Sarkisian said. "This is a very good football team on both sides of the ball. Really talented players, goods schemes, very well coached. That’s the beauty of football, that you can have a tough loss like we had Saturday and seven days later you have a chance to get out and redeem yourselves."

The USC defense has been inconsistent this season and will face another challenge with Arizona's dynamic offense.

"I think it is a matter of making sure we are properly aligned," USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. "It’s about all 11 players on each defensive snap. That our responsibilities are intact, who is responsible for the running back, who is responsible for the quarterback, who is covering the wide receivers.

"They make you defend everybody. We will get some zone read where Leonard Williams will be unblocked and we will get other stuff where other guys will be unblocked. It’s just critical that we are disciplined in our assignments and everybody does their job down after down after down."

When discussing Arizona's offense, Sarkisian made sure to compliment the Wildcats' offensive line and how well it has played this season.

"You have a group that has played a lot of football together," he said. "They communicate really well with one another. You aren’t going to give them something new, they have seen it all up until this point.

"When you have a young quarterback and a young tailback, there is comfort in knowing you have a veteran group up front that will handle the variety of looks you can get throughout a game and throughout a season and they are reaping the benefits from that."

Sarkisian seems to be relatively comfortable with his defense heading into Saturday, but admits the Trojans lacked execution when they needed it most.

"I think the hard part is we played pretty good defense in the (ASU) game until about the last five minutes of the game," he said. "For whatever reason, we gave up almost 250 yards of offense in three drives and it’s unfortunate because we had actually played pretty good defense against a talented offense all night long.

"From what that offense had done previously to other teams, we were playing fine, but for whatever reason we relaxed and gave up some big plays at the end of the ball game that ultimate affected us."

As impressive as Arizona's offense has been, a major component to defeating Oregon was how well the defense played.

"I think they are very well coached," Sarkisian said of the defense. "They do a really good job in the scheme with the 3-3 stack looks. The secondary is a group that does a nice job of playing zone and man coverages. They do a good job of mixing their pressures up front and they have a really good leader.

"Wright makes plays in the run game, the passing game, and had a tremendous strip fumble last week against Oregon. It’s a good group. They play hard, keep the ball in front of them, don’t give up big plays, and create turnovers when they need them."


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