The Trojans, who host Oregon State (7:30, ESPN) spent the off-week working on the fundamentals, said Sarkisian.
“We have quite a bit of youth up front - and this will be the fourth really veteran defense we’ve faced,” said Sarkisian. “People are challenging those guys, giving those guys a variety of stunts and pressures, putting a tall task on those guys.”
Many of the USC defensive issues at Boston College centered around the zone-read runs, as USC allowed a staggering 452 yards rushing. But the week before USC held Stanford to 120 yards on the ground and Oregon State doesn't run the zone read. That said, will Mike Riley try some things with his running backs in an effort to take advantage in the way BC did?
Oregon State has not won in L.A. since 1960 -- that's 22 USC wins in a row.
But the series has gone 3-3 over the past six years.
QB Cody Kessler has completed 71 percent of his passes this year without an interception. His favorite
target has been WR Nelson Agholor, who has 9 receptions in each of the past two games and now
is in the Trojan career Top 25 in both receptions and punt returns. RB
Javorius Allen has topped 100-yards in all three games this season (2 rushing, 1 receiving).
The Trojan defense,
Leonard Williams, LB
Su’a Cravens, is ranked highest nationally in turnover margin,
pass efficiency defense, red zone defense, interceptions, pass defense and third down
But the Beaver
defense, led by LB
Steven Nelson, leads the nation in both pass efficiency
defense and third down conversion defense. They are also ranked in the nation’s Top 25 in
total defense, passing defense, scoring defense and turnover margin.
USC has yet to suit up more than 60 recruited scholarship players in
2014 because of NCAA-mandated scholarship limitations. They have 67 scholarship players, 62 of whom were eligible the first three weeks, and they’ve suited up 57, 52 and 54 the first three weeks.
USC has 61 scholie players available this week (3
are out for the season with injuries, 1 is
academically ineligible and 1 is indefinitely
Steve Sarkisian is the eighth youngest (40)
head coach in the NCAA FBS.
Sarkisian has said he
would like to average 80 offensive plays
per game but that will be difficult to do with Oregon State’s deliberateness on offense. The Trojans are averaging 78 plays
per game in 2014 – a play every
23.9 seconds and 2.5 plays per minute.
USC ran 105 plays against Fresno State -- but just 59 against Stanford and 70 against Boston College.
is being used as a
3-way player by USC in 2014, seeing action
on offense as a wide receiver, defense as a
cornerback and special teams as a returner
and in coverage.
USC is one of only 3 NCAA FBS (formerly
Division I-A) schools that has
an FCS (formerly non-Division I-A) opponent
since the divisions were established in 1978.
The other schools are UCLA and Notre Dame.
conference “misses” in 2014 (as
it was in 2013) are Oregon and Washington.
USC does not have any players from
Oregon, while Oregon State sports 42
players on the roster who hail from California.
The connections between Oregon State and USC are lengthy:
defensive backs coach/pass game
cornerback at Oregon State (1997-2000),
and was the secondary coach there from
2008 to 2011...USC offensive assistant
played center at Oregon State
(2004-07), then was a graduate assistant
for tight ends there in 2013...USC defensive
played cornerback at Oregon State (2006-
09)...Oregon State head coach
was an assistant at USC from 1993 to
1996...OSU defensive coordinator
was a USC assistant coach in
1996...OSU secondary coach
the father of former Trojan Rod Perry Jr., who
played football (wide receiver in 1997) and
baseball (centerfielder on the 1998 College
World Series champs) at USC before
transferring to Cal State Fullerton and then
Penn State...OSU QB
Luke Del Rio
is the son
of former USC All-American LB Jack Del Rio
is the son
of former USC OT Pat Harlow (1987-90), the
1990 Pac-10 Morris Trophy winner...Oregon
is the son of
former USC S-QB Dan Morovick (1979), who
was a member of Troy’s 1978 national
championship team...OSU DT
is the cousin of former USC TE Xavier Grimble.
BEAVS: Checking in on No. 18 USC
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