uscfootball.com/Katja Liebing

USC quarterback Sam Darnold talks about his first college start against Utah

USC has found their quarterback in Sam Darnold. He would have loved to pick up the win, but Darnold showed a lot during his first start.

When USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton announced that he was going to change quarterbacks, Sam Darnold was ready for the challenge. He went into Salt Lake City on a short week and gave the Trojans an excellent chance to win against Utah. USC fell short, but the experience was invaluable for the redshirt freshman signal caller.

After Tuesday's practice we caught up with Darold to get his thoughts on what happened in Utah and how he is getting ready for Arizona State. Here are a few notes from what Darnold said with the full audio available below.

  • On his first start: "It was super, super wild... You would have loved to get that win. You just look back at a couple of plays you wish you could have back."
  • On what he could improve on: "Taking care of the ball and executing the play, whenever it's called,no matter what play it is."
  • On creating explosive plays: "We are getting a lot closer, week by week. We are doing a better job of all being on the same page."
  • On what USC needs to do: "We have the guys, we have the weapons, we need to execute and not turn the ball over."
  • On ASU defense: "Really good bunch. Obviously late in games, what you saw in that Cal game with two late interceptions, that was huge for them."
  • Did he feel nervous: "Yeah I did. I felt a lot of nerves, it was first game starting. In that atmosphere it's really nerve wracking. You can't show it to your guys. After the first series I thought I wasn't nervous at all."
  • On playing well: "As a quarterback your job is based on how much you win, it doesn't matter how well you play. You just got to get those wins, especially when you are up 24-10."
  • Did preparation change now that he is the starter? "It was different for the Utah week, but now that I have that one under my belt I am used to it and I'm used to being the guy out here." 
  • On coming home to play: "We have a huge advantage there in the Coli and we are looking for our fans to give us some really good support."
  • What would getting that first win mean? "It'd be huge. Any time you can get a win, especially when you are 1-3, you need to get a win. You need to start building that confidence. They need to know that we can win and we can do it."

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Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of USCFootball.com since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at ryan@uscfootball.com.


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