Keys to a Trojan Victory vs. the Beavers
John David Booty has not played in nearly a month. He has improved each day in practice, but that is a far cry from being on the field against division one opponents. Booty will have to shake the rust off and lead a definitive Trojan attack.
Should Booty not be able to play the full game, Mark Sanchez will have to step in and lead the Trojans. Sanchez may have lost a little self-confidence in the loss against the Oregon Ducks.
Either quarterback need to confidently lead the Trojans on Saturday.
Stopping Yvenson Bernard
The Trojan defense has a formidable foe in Bernard, who averages close to 102 yards per game and is the third leading rusher in the Pac-10. Bernard also leads the Beavers with 32 receptions. He is coming off a shoulder sprain but looks to be ready for the game.
Limiting Bernard to less than a hundred yards (and closer to 40-50 yards) would be a big plus for the Trojans. The Trojan front four, led by Sedrick Ellis and Lawrence Jackson should be able to contain Bernard.
Regaining Confidence and a Winning Attitude
This Trojan team has been inconsistent at best. The whole team needs to come together and play inspired football. A winning attitude and confidence has been lost on this group. It appears the Trojans have lost the fire or attitude that recent teams have had.
Coach Pete Carroll stated this week in his press conference; there has been a disparity between penalties called for and against the Trojans. Currently, USC ranks 10th in this category against Pac-10 opponents.
The Trojans need to limit penalties for false starts, facemask and blocking in the back. Mental errors plaguing the team of late need to be kept under check. At the very least, the Trojans cannot allow penalties to disrupt the flow of the their gameplan.
Getting to the Quarterback
A signature of a Pete Carroll defense is getting to the quarterback. In recent years, the defense would shake the opposing quarterback up with sacks and pressure. The Trojans need to disrupt the flow of the Beaver offense by getting to the quarterback.