If you're one of those who thinks Adoree' Jackson hasn't matched expectations his sophomore season, you're not alone. Adoree' agrees with you.
"My season has been all right," Adoree' says, "just all right . . . I haven't done anything spectacular like my freshman year."
But he's not giving up on his second season. "You don't know what's ahead," he said.
Clay Helton postulated that one of the issues that's made life tougher for Adoree' is a result of how much more man-to-man defense USC is playing in order for the DBs to give run support and when Adoree' gets beat "once out of 10 plays," it just looks worse than it might actually be.
Adoree' wasn't taking that way out. "I thank him for that but at the end of the day, it's on me," he said. "Whether it's 100 plays of man or 100 plays of zone, it's on me . . . I've got to execute better." And then he described the technical flaws in his hips or his hands that he has to improve on.
"I'm just trying to affect the game," he said, admitting that of course, he'd like more plays on offense. And in a game in Eugene that many think will be a high-scoring track meet, what better place to do it than the town where Adoree' scored a number of points in the NCAA Track & Field Championships this past spring.
"I expect it to be crazy," Adoree' said, "their fans will be rowdy."
Seniors step up
"I told them I'm too old to play, it's up to you guys," Wilson said. "This is on them. They took ownership of their play.
Wilson said one of his changes here has been to listen to his guys with their experience. And encourage them.
"We're playing drama-free football these last five games," Wilson said, "and that's championship football." From Simmons' forced fumble and blocked field goal at Colorado to Woods' multiple tackles for losses in recent weeks, "these guys have become pupils," Wilson said.
"They've made the commitment to do this," Wilson said. "This is all about them studying film and preparing themselves . . . I'm their biggest fan."
1-2-3, beat the Ducks
Here's how you do it, Helton said Wednesday, the way you beat the Ducks. And if you watched the Trojans' practice, you got the message from what they were working on. The Trojans had better be able to do three things: The first is maintain ball security for the offense -- and while you're at it, how about some ball-stripping by the defense.
Then you better convert your third downs and get the Ducks off the field when they have third down. Make 'em punt. And finally, get that pass rush going that's produced 19 sacks the last five weeks, Helton says.
That's it: Easy as 1-2-3. Of course, that was Wednesday. On Tuesday, Helton's coaching point was how the Trojans had better be able to score touchdowns, not field goals, every time they get into the red zone.
And then of course there's Oregon's 230-pound running back Royce Freeman, "one of the premier running backs in the country," Helton called him. Said he "runs through tackles at will" so you'd better have "multiple guys" taking him down.
And finally, Helton acknowledged that the special teams play was "spotty" at Colorado and that "hopefully it'll be better Saturday."
Said that Kris Albarado's line drive punt deep in USC territory that allowed Nelson Spruce the return to the USC 2 was a mis-hit, a rugby style punt that USC tries to get outside the numbers and bounce it out of bounds. Instead it stayed in the middle of the field and was easily brought back.
So what's it going to be like going back to Autzen for Justin Wilcox, USC's defensive coordinator? Going home to Oregon where his father, NFL Hall of Famer Dave Wilcox, and his uncle and brother all played football for the Ducks, as did Justin from 1996 through 1999?
Good question. One Justin isn't exactly answering.
"It's our next game and it's the Trojans against the Ducks," Wilcox said. But what about Autzen? And going home? "Like a lot of schools in our conference, it's a great atmosphere," Wilcox said, "and the Trojans will be ready to play."
WEDNESDAY QUICK HITS: Another shorts, shoulder pads and helmets practice for Oregon week . . . probably no more full-pads work the rest of the regular season . . . In what is becoming a daily ritual, Khaliel Rodgers had his left shoulder re-taped after calisthenics and stretching, got back in his pads on and practiced without a hitch . . . No practice for Viane Talamaivao with his torn meniscus that was injured in the fourth play at Colorado but he played the entire game on it . . . Helton said they drained 50 cc of fluid from Viane's knee and it will be a case of pain tolerance this week and a game-time decision . . . said that's why they're getting Chris Brown ready and he's doing tremendous thus far . . . turns out safety Leon McQuay's injury is a torn MCL according to Helton, a four-week injury with the target date for his return next week against UCLA . . . he did some running and loosening up but wasn't in pads today as he was Tuesday . . . that's pretty much the story for TB Tre Madden, who was out of pads again with that bone bruise in his foot . . . he'll travel with the team to Oregon but the UCLA game is the hope as well for his return . . . Where once there were 19 linebackers doing drills in August now there are 12. Still enough, as Su'a said Tuesday, but not nearly as many with the loss of Cameron Smith and Lamar Dawson last week at Colorado . . . Cameron Smith walked into practice without much of a limp on that left knee that will undergo ACL surgery and leave him with a seven- to nine-month rehab . . . without much of a limp to join his teammates . . . the cart with the pair of speakers replicating Autzen noise was back and it really concentrates the sound . . . defensive play of the day: Chris Hawkins' pick-six off Cody . . . catch of the day by Deontay Burnett on a 35-yard TD grab over Isaiah Langley . . . DB also ran the best pattern on a double move TD catch the same distance from Cody . . . really nice diving INT on a batted ball by Ykili Ross on the Scout team . . . Delvon Simmons got another live FG block following his in-game one at Colorado . . . For the second day in a row, the Sam Darnold to Caleb Wilson connection ended practice on a 30-yard TD hookup sending the third offensive group out happy again.CHECK THIS OUT: For Wednesday's practice report, check out WEDNESDAY DUCKS WEEK GHOST NOTES.
You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at email@example.com.