Just Sayin' . . . Week 2

We're 'Just Sayin' " that when a team plays the way it practices and practices the way you have to play in games, good things can happen as they did for USC Saturday.

OK, it's the start of Game Week 2 and we're Just Sayin' that playing games is a whole lot better than whatever it was that went on the first six days last week. Although between the stories and the media (ourselves included), there really was a whole lot of game-playin' going on.

Just sayin'.

And so we go, looking back a bit and ahead a whole lot, as the 1-0 Trojans head to The Farm for a Weekender that we hope you're looking forward to as much as we are. Again, Just sayin'.

*** Speaking for the media, or at least for myself, do you realize how happy we are to have a Trojan team's first game resemble what we saw in practice all August? What a pleasure, that sort of predictability . . . Just sayin'.

*** We tried to tell you. Don't worry about the offensive line. Sure, they're young. But they're talented with good on- and off-the-field leadership. They're massive. They're physical. They like to hit people. And they know what they're doing . . . Just sayin'.

*** Sure, they'll make some mistakes. Who doesn't. But practicing the way you're going to play and practicing a lot makes this way easier for young guys to get up to speed. So maybe put your worries elsewhere. Enjoy . . . Just sayin'.

*** But don't downgrade the defense just because they didn't look like the offense that ran off a Pac-12 record 105 plays. They were pretty much playing in a phone booth, not at all looking like the defense we've seen the last month. We're thinking that was completely by design, as was the way the offense went after it . . . Just sayin'.

*** Not as easy when you've been flying to the football, coming in from all sorts of angles, and then you just go out there in your base defenses all night and react. Wait until this Saturday. Not much standing around, we'd bet . . . Just sayin'.

*** So 11 true freshmen, the most of any Pac-12 team, debuted for the Trojans against Fresno State. And while there might have been a few penalties, they weren't the kind of "we don't know what we're doing out there" or "the moment is too big for us" stuff you maybe would expect to see . . . Just sayin'.

*** And six redshirt freshmen including three walkons also debuted for the Trojans. And if you count Adoree Jackson twice, or maybe three times, isn't that the smart way to have gone? . . . Just sayin'.

*** Rather than slowing down the game and practices and getting fewer players ready to go, as counterintuitive as it would seem to be, maybe going faster -- if you have the talent -- is the one way to make up for a lack of numbers . . . Just sayin'.

*** USC may be the first team with topline talent and a big-time tradition for the ages, to go this route. And if you don't think that's the case, consider this. The Trojans ran 62 plays in the first half, Stanford ran 62 plays in two halves in the Cardinal's opening win over UC Davis . . . Just sayin'.

*** The theory seems pretty basic. The more talent advantage a team or an athlete has and the more plays that are run, the less chance the team with the talent deficit has . . . Just sayin'.

*** It's why in a tennis Grand Slam, when there are thousands of shots hit, you can count on two or three fingers the number of players with a chance to win. But in a golf major, where it comes down to 280 shots give or take a few, a dozen have a real chance and a longshot is never completely out . . . Just Sayin.

*** That's why the matchup this week in Palo Alto is so intriguing. Two different theories of where these two programs are going and how they intend to get there, two programs that have come to measure themselves against one another in recent years . . . Just sayin'.

*** And sure, we know it's just one game but after the slow starts in recent seasons, how much fun is it to say the Trojans lead the nation in interceptions with four, in sacks allowed (tied with a bunch) at zero, are No 4 in first downs (37), No. 4 in time of possession (38.54), No. 8 in pass offense (424 yards) and No. 11 in turnover margin (plus 2). Haven't been able to say that in a long while . . . Just sayin'.

*** And again, it's relatively without long-term meaning here, but fun to be able to note that, individually, Kevon Seymour leads the nation in passes defended (3.0); Gerald Bowman, Leonard Williams, Michael Hutchings and Anthony Sarao are tied for the national lead in interceptions with one each; Cody Kessler is No. 9 in both total offense (422 yards) and pass offense (394) and Buck Allen is No. 2 in the Pac-12 in rushing with 133 yards . . . Just sayin'.

*** Speaking of numbers, how about a team with only 57 originally recruited scholarship guys available getting 65 players into the game. Let's here it for the walkons . . . Just sayin'.

*** And while we're writing this and thinking about what will happen to Josh Shaw, we get to see Bobby Petrino leading the Louisville Cardinals out onto the field to the adulation of the Cardinal fans and realize that college sports -- like life -- is never going to be completely fair.

Just sayin'.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.

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