Ryan Abraham talks Clay Helton, Cody Kessler, Cameron Smith's big game and more as we preview Cal vs. USC

Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com stops by to break down Cal vs. USC, and what we can expect from the Trojans defense.

 This week, USCFootball.com publisher Ryan Abraham joins the Bear Republic to talk about California vs. USC, which kicks off at noon on Saturday. The leader in all things USC, Ryan has been covering the Trojans for nearly two decades, and is a Heisman voter. What does he think of Jared Goff? Listen to find out. Plus, here are some of the other subjects we talked about during this 20-minute Q&A. 

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  • How much has Clay Helton energized this team? How is he different from Ed Orgeron?
  • In Ryan’s estimation, what does Helton have to do in order to be considered for the job?
  • The elephant in the room: In Ryan’s almost two decades covering USC, has he ever experienced anything as strange as the morning Steve Sarkisian was suspended?
  • How healthy is USC, and what does the offensive line look like after Chad Wheeler missed last week with an illness? How about wide receivers Steven Mitchell, Jr. and Darreus Rogers?
  • Last week, Adoree Jackson Jackson played a deceptively small role in the offense, but in actuality, he was probably one of the most significant guys on the field. Would you agree with that?
  • Is Juju Smith-Schuster the next great USC wideout?
  • Besides Cameron Smith and Su'a Cravens, what are other names we should know on defense?
  • What can USC bring up front on the defensive line?
  • Which of the stable of running backs do you see eventually taking the lead, or is that USC’s identity anymore?
  • We’ve gone so long without talking about the quarterback match-up, but Clay Helton made a point of saying that both Cody Kessler and Jared Goff are going to be NFL quarterbacks one day. How much of this team’s success is – and, for the last four years, has been -- predicated on Kessler?
  • Max Browne came in so highly-regarded, in the same class as Goff, but he’s taken hardly any snaps. Is that more a function of Kessler’s aptitude, or has he slid down the depth chart a bit?

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