Upon Further Review - Nebraska Game

At the conclusion of the USC - Nebraska match up in Lincoln, one could ascertain that the USC Trojans are for real. After a somewhat lackluster opening game against the Idaho Vandals, the Trojans verified they are a legitimate #1 team. USC dehusked #14 Nebraska 49-31. The Cornhuskers made a game of it for just over one quarter until the Trojan run game overwhelmed them.

Keys to the Game Revisited

The Running Game

Previously, we predicted that one of the keys to this match up would be USC's run game. A solid performance by the running backs would be necessary. What we did not foresee was that the holes opened up by the offensive line would be so wide that three tailbacks could run through the defense. With 313 yards total rushing yards, the Trojan running backs completed its mission.

Wide Receivers

We projected that a successful running game would open up the passing lanes. What was unforeseen was a running game so efficient, it would render the receivers irrelevant. The Trojans gained 144 yards through the air. In the coming weeks, the wide receivers need to pick up speed and begin performing as most Pete Carroll led teams have done in the past. This part of the USC arsenal needs improvement and there is no reason to think that it will not improve as John David Booty and his receivers gain more playing time together.

The Offensive Line

Game balls should be given to each member of the offensive line. The Trojan offensive line manhandled the Cornhuskers. Running lanes were wide and clear all night and Booty was protected well during passing downs. Kristopher O'Dowd, Sam Baker, Jeff Byers, Chilo Rachal, Drew Radovich and Charles Brown simply turned in a magnificent game.

Defensive Line

The defensive line also turned in a big game in Lincoln. Sedrick Ellis manhandled the opposition all night long and played like a man amongst boys. Lawrence Jackson also played well on the line. What was surprising was Kyle Moore's effort. Moore was in on big plays, highlighted by tipping a ball to Terrell Thomas and an interception he ran down to the one yard line. Moore displayed the maturity and confidence of a veteran lineman. Kyle Moore has arrived.

Secondary

If there is a weakness on this Trojan team, it may be the secondary. The defense gave up 389 in passing, although much of that was after the game had already been decided. Shareece Wright and Terrell Thomas are exceptional, Cary Harris and Vincent Joseph both need to step it up a notch, to secure the corners.

Linebackers

Just when a suitable replacement for Brian Cushing was found, Clay Matthews broke his thumb. Matthews believes he will play with a cast, Cushing should be back in the next week or two.

The Keys

Patrick Turner needs to increase his production numbers.

O'Dowd has defined his spot on the offensive line.

Stafon Johnson and C.J. Gable are both solid.

John David Booty has proven over the last two years that he is capable of leading this team.

Everson Griffen has a learning curve ahead, but Kyle Moore will keep the defensive end opposite Lawrence Jackson secured.


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