Here is Keely Eure's full conversation with Adoree Jackson:
Question: The team lost on Saturday, but how do you think you played overall?
Jackson: "I think I did below average. I gave up a touchdown on the first play of the game. Another pass I could’ve defended better, I mean I was there in good coverage, but I could’ve defended better. And then the pass inference that they called on me so… I mean at the end of the day I feel like I did average and then being the player that I am, everyone else is going to think I played poorly as well. So that’s just how I grade myself overall. I think every game I consider myself to play average. I never think that I had a good game or think that it’s great."
Q: On the other side of the ball you had a touchdown, take me through that play.
A: "I thought maybe I was going to have a deep route and then I saw the play call [Helton] called. I just figured it was going to be a touchdown. I caught the ball and I saw everyone trace over to the left, assuming I was going to run over that way. I saw the middle of the field open and I just followed my blocks. Zach Banner had a nice block and then from there it was like they parted the sea for me."
Q: What’s it like now that Clay Helton is the head coach?
A: "It’s great having Coach Helton as the head coach. He’s all about family – so was Coach Sarkisian – but just having Clay Helton it’s just a different atmosphere. He just brings a different presence as a coach. Every coach has their different things as a coach and Coach Helton has what he brings so nice it’s to have."
Q: What’s different? What’s the different atmosphere like?
A: "He’s just one of those coaches who goes back to tradition. Whether it’s team bonding and all the things we have. I think that’s one of the things that is different like with the family dinner. Just the way we come and interact with each other now. It was still there when Coach Sark was here but it was just different because [Helton] brings the old school back into and Coach Sark was with the new school. They both work but it’s just different, it’s different transitioning to the old school again."
Q: What’s it like at the family dinners? Do you feel like it brings you guys together more?
A: "Yeah because you have everybody sit down, we get to pray together, interact with one another and talk trash. At the end of the day when we used to get out of practice, like out of meetings you’d go straight home. You might get your other dinner or go to class or you got other stuff to do. When you go home you don’t really get to bond with each other like that so it’s pretty nice to have."
Q: The wide receiver group is depleted now with injuries and you’re going to have to be used more on offense now, does that change the strategy of how they play you on special teams, defense and offense?
A: "I think so. Like I was on full time defense and I wasn’t able to play full time offense. So now that I have to be offense, I don’t know if it’s full time, but a majority of the time, it’s going to be different than what I do defensively and on special teams."
Q: How much do you expect to play on offense against Utah?
A: "I mean if I wanted to I could play the whole game. But it just depends on how much they need me. Maybe hopefully we can get some electrifying plays in where I don’t have to get in as much and everything else is clicking. Then I can go out there on defense and play defense. But it just depends on how the game is going, that’s how it always goes."
Q: What’s the preparation been like for Utah?
A: "Stay focused and play with the same energy and intensity that we had last game. So we just need stay focused and play with that energy and intensity and have effort – amazing effort. Be disciplined with everything we do and just focus up and tighten up on the little things that we did like assignments."
Q: On the defensive side of the ball, how do you prepare for a quarterback like Travis Wilson?
A: "That’s one of those things that’s tough. You’ve seen he can run the ball or he can throw the ball with his arm. [They] have the run pass option, which is amazing to have. So he’s one of those guys that you just have to contain him. Those are the type of players where you just want to contain them enough. It’s like if you think about basketball or any other sport, you see LeBron James… if you want to stop him you can but he’s still going to get up 20 points a game. So you just want to contain him as much as you can throughout the game."
Q: Utah is known for their special teams, how do you prepare for that?
A: "It’s going to be the type of game where special teams is going to be the key factor. That’s at all games, special teams can win you the game or lose the game. You saw that last week against Notre Dame. That blocked punt, the scoop and score for the touchdown was critical in the game. So this time going into special teams we just got to tighten it up and be disciplined. We know that special teams can be a determining factor."
Q: Utah is coming in as the number three team in the nation, is there more pressure to win now than ever?
A: "To be honest, there was always pressure on us to win no matter what. I mean it’s USC, we’re Trojans. I don’t think there would be any more pressure. We just got to go out there and play ball, play our ball and stick to what we know. Don’t let any emotions or anything go into the game because bad things can happen. So we just got to go out there and play."
Q: Going forward, what would you determine as a successful season for this team at this point in the season?
A: "Going forward we just have to win out. Whatever we want to do, just win out and prove people wrong. That’s pretty much all we can do at this point. We’re 3-3 right now and just win out the rest of the games. I mean… that’s not a successful season but… at the same time, it’s the best turnout that we can get this season."
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Keely Eure is a broadcast journalism student at the Annenberg School at USC. You can follow her on Twitter at @keelyismyname.