Notes from the sidelines

News and notes for the Trojan football team as they prepare for the game on Saturday against Colorado

The feeling on the team is good right now as the Trojans prepare to travel to Colorado for the game against the Buffaloes…..Much of the optimistic feeling revolves around the continued progress shown by the offense in practice over the past two weeks….Led by Carson Palmer, who earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against Auburn, the passing game is so much more precise than anything we have seen in recent years…..Of course, the return of Malaefou MacKenzie helps the passing game as well.  For this offense to succeed it needs a dependable pass catcher out of the backfield.  Look for Hershel Dennis to assume this role next season…..Chad Pierson is expected to start at fullback and he is another one who can catch the ball and do some damage…..The right side of the line continues to be a saga.  Zach Wilson came back this week from his foot injury but was unable to finish a practice while Fred Matua continues to be slowed by a sore knee.  The coaches are searching for the best possible combination of players so we may see Winston Justice at tackle with Eric Torres at guard……With Melvin Simmons in the hospital with an infected knee the Trojans will take a look at Lee Webb at WLB.  Webb is a physical player and he brings more size and pop than Bobby Otani to that spot and we will need that over the next two games against CU and K-State…..It remains to be seen if Justin Fargas will play although it goes without saying that the Trojans would dearly love to see him on the field…..The injury bug has hit Colorado and they could be without major weapons such as Craig Ochs, Marcus Houston and Jeremy Bloom…..The Colorado defense is very similar to Auburn, a solid and physical front seven with a secondary that could be vulnerable to the Trojan passing attack…..Keary Colbert has benefited from the bye week and should be close to 100%.....Ronald Nunn had a cast placed on his hand but he will play this week as well…..One interested onlooker expected to be in attendance at the game is USC running back recruit Lendale White from Chatfield HS in Colorado…..New Colorado QB Robert Hodge played with Sunny Byrd at El Camino College, both attended Mira Costa High School as well, and his position coach at El Camino was Steve Sarkisian…..Hodge is known as an excellent runner and that should complement an already strong CU running game.  If they cannot establish a passing game, however, then chances are Pete Carroll will find a way to shut down a one-dimensional attack…..The USC defensive line is fired up to show that they are up to the challenge of stopping the run and they should have plenty of help in this game from Troy Polamalu with some big plays……It should be a great game.


TV – regional ABC game, 12:30pm

Radio – KMPC 1540

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