As far as openers go the victory by the USC Trojans over the Auburn Tigers on Monday at the Coliseum in front of 63,269 was notable for the second half dominance by a Trojan team that has had their share of problems putting teams away in recent years. On this night with a national television audience and a sideline full of top recruits USC showed that the new uniforms weren't the only "retro" look going on as they controlled the clock late in the game with precision passing and key running when needed. Michael Patterson led the way on defense while it was a group of seniors (Carson Palmer, Malaefou MacKenzie, Sultan McCullough and Kareem Kelly) who provided the difference on offense.
Adjustments pay off
This was by no means a dominant win, nobody in the Trojan Family is claiming that we played a perfect game so why is it that so many are so satisfied today? One of the reasons is coaching, the Trojans won the game in part because the coaches helped us get this win and when was the last time we could say that? On offense we went with our primary weapon in Carson Palmer but in the first half he was missing on some deep passes so in the second half Norm Chow focused more on shorter routes and passes out of the backfield to the running backs. We didn't have an overwhelming rushing performance but it was enough throughout the game that when we needed to run in the fourth quarter we were able to take advantage of the fact that
By the numbers
* The Trojans had a second half edge in time of possession by a margin of .
* The victory snaps a 6 game losing streak for the Trojans to SEC teams
* Malaefou had six catches for 117 yards, both career highs, and it was the first time in almost 40 years that a USC RB had over 100 yards receiving in a game
The offensive performance in this game was keyed by the performances of four seniors, all of whom contributed in the fourth quarter to the victory. Carson Palmer did a terrific job of hitting his 2nd and 3rd option throws and he also looked good throwing on the run in addition to taking charge of the huddle down the stretch. He had one bad throw on the first interception but he also moved into the #1 spot on the all-time USC attempts list and is #2 for completions. Malaefou MacKenzie showed exactly why Norm Chow said prior to last season that Mal was the one person we couldn't afford to lose. He brings so many weapons to the table with his pass receiving out of the backfield in addition to running and blocking. Good luck covering him with a linebacker, he has too many moves, and he also put a crunching block on a blitzing safety to give