Scouting the Huskies - Defense

The Trojans offense is starting to heat up just as the Huskies defense looks to be falling apart. This Saturday the Trojans face a Washington defense that has surrendered 77 points and 596 rushing yards the last two weeks.

The Huskies are ninth in the Pac-10 in rushing defense giving up 175 yards per game and could be in for a long day against the explosive USC offense.

Defensive Line

Coming into the 2007 season the Huskies defensive line looked to be the strength of the defense. But after giving up 596 rushing yards in the last two weeks the Huskies defensive line has become a real problem. The Huskies are ninth in the Pac-10 in rushing defense giving up 175 yards per game.

Returning starters Greyson Gunheim, Wilson Afoa, Jordan Reffett and Daniel Te' o-Nesheim haven't lived up to expectations this season.

After seeing what Ohio State and UCLA have done the last two weeks against the Huskies defense, look for USC to come out and pound the Huskies on the ground. The Trojans will try and exploit the Huskies defense that gave up 333 yards rushing last week against UCLA.

Linebackers

The Huskies have a group of undersized but very quick linebackers led by redshirt sophomore E.J. Savannah. Savannah has been the Huskies top performer at linebacker in 2007. Last week against UCLA, he had a career-high 15 tackles but was also victimized by being too aggressive. Savannah, who leads the team with 42 tackles is a very aggressive player but like most young linebackers often finds himself out of position.

Trenton Tuiasosopo and Donald Butler will share time at middle linebacker. Tuiasosopo was the starter to begin the year but has struggled lately and didn't have a tackle last week against UCLA.

Senior outside linebacker Dan Howell has provided some big plays for the defense with 4 tackles-for-loss, a sack and an interception.

The Trojans average 244.7 yards rushing a game and the Huskies defense gave up 333 yards on the ground last week against UCLA. The USC tailbacks have to be excited about playing against a team whose rushing defense has got progressively worse every game this year.

The weather forecast calls for rain so look for the Trojans to establish a power running game early and get all of their talented tailbacks in the mix.

Secondary

Two year starter Roy Lewis is the leader of the secondary and the Huskies best cornerback. Lewis is second the on the team with 31 tackles and also has an interception.

At the other corner spot Vonzell McDowell Jr., Byron Davenport and Matt Mosley are all listed as co-starters. Freshman Vonzell McDowell Jr. started the first three games at corner but was replaced by Byron Davenport last week against UCLA.

The Huskies have two solid safeties in Jason Wells and Mesphin Forrester. Forrester has 28 tackles and Wells has 22.

John David Booty and the USC passing game exploded for the first time last week against Washington State. The Trojans have another favorable match up this week against Washington and look for John David Booty to get back into Heisman trophy contention with a second straight big game.


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