Notes: No. 2 USC prepares for No. 21 Stanford

The Trojans wrapped up week three of practice on Thursday and will take off for Palo Alto on Friday to take on No. 21 Stanford and play for their first win against the Cardinal since 2008.

Surprise of the Season
Coming into the season there were many educated guesses about who the Trojans' under-the-radar breakout star would be. To the best of my recollection, none of those guesses named JUCO-transfer Morgan Breslin.

The 6-foot-2, 250 pound defensive end slowly climbed the ranks throughout fall camp and has emerged through the first two games as one of the biggest surprises of the young season.

"For him to come in his first division one college game and make as many plays as he has and we've taken him out late in both games, or his numbers would even be better, has been huge for us," said USC Coach Lane Kiffin.

Breslin has recorded 10 tackles and two sacks through the Trojans' first two games.

McNeal Put it to Sleep
For some athletes, the thought of fumbling the game winning play is something that can haunt them forever. But for elite athletes, like 1000-plus yard rusher Curtis McNeal, it's a thought he knew he have to put to sleep the night it happened.

"I mean, I fumbled," McNeal said after practice on Tuesday. "I fumbled."

He also made the choice, surrounded by friends and family, to move on. "My teammates came up to me," he explained, "the coaches, family came up to me and let me know I'm going to be alright. It happens. It's football. You've just got to keep going."

McNeal plans to keep going on Saturday at Stanford. With the fumble far in his rearview, he looks ahead to focusing on when Kiffin calls his number – which in itself, is an issue he's putting to sleep.

"I can't worry about how many times I touch it," McNeal said about the number of carries he gets in comparison to teammate Silas Redd. "Just when I touch it, try to make something happen, and play for my team."

No. 2 and 2-0
The Trojans are 2-0 on the season and hold the No. 2 ranking in the AP Poll, yet after the 42-29 win over Syracuse, there is still doubt floating around the country about whether or not the Trojans deserve to be in that number two spot.

"We just win every game and it is what it is," said receiver Robert Woods of whether or not he thinks the Trojans are deserving of the number two spot. "(We) still got the ‘W'. If it's win by one or win by 21, it's still a ‘W'."

The Trojans opened the season as the No. 1 team in the country but a 39-point win in their season opener over Hawaii wasn't enough to keep them there, surrendering the top spot to Alabama.

"We don't even talk about polls because they fall under what we can't control," explained Kiffin after practice on Thursday. "So we don't really get into it and not worry about it because as soon as you start doing that your attention is somewhere else instead of your game plan."

"We don't really focus on the comments and everything unless we go out there and execute and do what we have to do to get the win and that's how it is," said receiver Marqise Lee. "All we do is come back the next week and practice, that's it."

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