USC On Offense:
USC runs out of the "I" formation or the offset "I", using two wide receivers, and a tight end. They will use
multiple wide receiver sets, and occasionally go to two tight ends. USC strives to be as balanced as possible between the run, and pass.
On the season, the Trojans have 235 rushing attempts and 212 passing attempts.
The offense is still very productive, and they're building our their numbers
from their 2006 offensive output (total offense 392 yards, 128 rushing yards,
264 passing yards)
Anticipated Depth Chart.
Mark Sanchez (6-3, 225, So.) will likely get the second start of his career. I'm not sure if Sanchez doesn't have more ability than Booty, but the experience that Booty has can't be replaced. Sanchez is a big, solid prospect with a strong arm and nice release. He's mobile, but not a runner. Sanchez is a heady player that will come up with a play when the defense needs a stop.
John David Booty (6-3/215, Sr.) Probably won't start, but he could be available if something happens to Sanchez. He can do everything from a physical standpoint and he appears to have a handle on the mental side of the game. He throws a good deep ball, he has touch and he can put plenty of zip on the ball when necessary. Booty does seem to run hot and cold at times. There are stretches where you're not sure where he's throwing the ball, and then he'll come back and make some incredible throws. Booty has been in the system and he appears to be well on his way to adding to the string of big-time quarterbacks at USC.
Chauncey Washington is the power guy that does most of his work between the
tackles. He's doing an solid job this season with 4.3 yards per carry, but
he isn't at the level of the other running backs on this roster. Washington
won't catch the ball out of the backfield very often. This seems like
Washington's tenth season at USC. He's been ineligible for a number of seasons
due to academic issues. For whatever reason, USC has been able to keep him around over the years.
Stanley Havili didn't want to play fullback, much the way that
Allan Bradford didn't want to play fullback, but he's been asked to do so. Like
Bradford, Havili has excelled and Carroll has gotten him the ball on the ground
and through the air. This guy can be a pain for a defense and the Irish will
need to keep an eye on him throughout the day. He has 16 receptions for 75 yards
and two touchdowns.
Patrick Turner took over for Dwyane Jarrett as the primary
receiver for USC. He has size. He has good hands, and he has enough speed to be
dangerous. Despite all the tools, he just doesn't seem to be the player that
Jarrett was. Maybe Turner needs another player to step up opposite him, maybe he
needs more consistent play from the quarterbacks... either way Turner is the top
guy in the receiving corps.
David Ausberry is like the other two... this could be an issue for USC, the fact that their top recivers are of the same mold. Travon Patterson was the speed guy, but he hasn't shown much this season.
Fred Davis leading USC in receiving? Either Fred Davis is an incredible tight end, or the wide receivers are struggling. My guess is that it's a little of both. There's never been a question about Davis' ability to catch the ball, but he wasn't a very good blocker in the past. He's really worked to develop that part of his game and in his last season he's become a complete tight end. Nonetheless, the fact that a tight end is leading the Trojans in receptions must be a concern.
Dale Thompson is USC's blocking tight end, and he will see a lot a snaps, the problem is that USC doesn't appear to get him involved in the passing game...
Sam Baker is a four-year starter and a two-year All-American.
He's widely considered that best left tackle in college football. He is very nimble and does a great job in pass protection. He's more finesse than power, although
certainly can knock players off the ball.
Alatini Malu has been slowed by a hamstring injury, and it's uncertain whether he'll be ready to go. He only received one start last season, but I like his play. He's big and fairly athletic for his size. Drew Radovich will probably get the call at right tackle. He's big and athletic.
Chilo Rachal, O'Dowd and tackle Charles Brown have been injured, but should be back for Notre Dame.USC On Defense:
Pete Carroll is the mastermind of the USC defense and his philosophy is speed -- the more the better. He believes in good, solid defense, and he believes that the offense will generally make a mistake before they get to the end zone. He believes in reducing big plays and keeping the ball in front of the
defense. The USC defense will blitz from anywhere on the field; cornerback, linebacker or zone
blitz. In the past Carroll waited to blitz until the offense got moving, but
this season, he appears to be more aggressive.
The talent and depth at linebacker is incredible. There is also a wealth of experience.
Thomas Williams, Rey Maualuga, and Keith Rivers will likely start, but the three
behind them are probably just as good.
Anticipated Depth Chart.
This unit is playing very well, but they aren't getting into the
backfield like they should. Lawrence Jackson is a big, strong defensive end. He isn't a speed guy,
but he has the ability to overpower the offensive lineman. He's very difficult to move off the corner and he's got a nose for the ball. Jackson will likely line up across from
Paul Duncan, and this could be a trouble spot for the Irish. Although the switch
to right tackle has helped Duncan, he is still struggling. Jackson is a difficult match up for a seasoned
player and Notre Dame will need to give Duncan help on this corner.
Williams jumps back to the defensive side of the ball after moving to fullback last season. he's a heck of a player that plays very well in traffic. Any guy that starts for USC at linebacker, is a player.. They have so much depth here, it's mind- boggling.
Rey Maualuga is second on the team in tackles. He's what you think about when you start looking for middle linebackers. He got his feet wet last season, and now it looks like he's going to be around for awhile. Not a good thing, because he can bring it with the best of them.
Keith Rivers could probably play any of the linebacker positions, and he's even been used at rush defensive end. Rivers is a player and if he can put everything together he'll be an All-American. Rivers can run and hit. He plays well in traffic and he has superior instincts. His quickness makes him difficult to block in space. He leads the team in tackles (46). He can be too aggressive at times and at times he tries to go under blocks and finds himself out of place.... that's being picky though.
Terrell Thomas and Cary Harris have a world of talent. They've battled the injury bug in the past, but played injury-free last season. Neither player supports the run real well, but you ask your corners to cover not, tackle running backs. With the linebackers that USC has, these corners should need to make many tackles.
Like the corners, the safeties can make plays. Ellison doesn't get the press that Mays does, but he might be a little more steady. These two work to keep everything in front of them. Pete Carroll will accept having balls caught in front of his safeties, but he doesn't not want anything to get behind them.
Preview: Notre Dame vs USC
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