Dennis Erickson's Thoughts on USC

The USC Trojans and Arizona State Sun Devils meet in one of the biggest games of the year this Thursday. Hear what Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson has to say heading into the big match up.

Dennis Erickson on the strengths of USC's offense:

"They're very consistent. Their offensive front is outstanding. They run the football. They've got so many players. Their receiver corp is good, [Patrick] Turner is an extremely good player, good tight end [Fred Davis]. You look at them and there's not a weakness I see, offensively. If you're going to say what is their strength on offense, it would be how they operate in the offensive front. [John David] Booty is an experienced quarterback that's been around, that's healthy now. They're healthier than they've been all year. They're just a good football team. You look at them on tape, and they're different than most. They've got a lot of talent."

Dennis Erickson on USC's defensive front:

"They remind me a little bit of some of the fronts I had at Miami, Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy and some of those guys. You take Lawrence Jackson, he's a really good player. Sedrick Ellis might be the No. 1 pick in the country coming out. Those two guys are both going to be No. 1 picks without a doubt. Their linebackers are good. You look at them defensively, and they're as good as their ranked. Their stats show how good they are and they've got a lot of good players to do it. They play well together. They're coached very well by Nick Holt and Pete [Carroll]. We haven't seen a defense close to it."

Dennis Erickson on Pete Carroll:

"I've known Pete for several years, as an acquaintance, as a guy that I've respected in coaching, when he was at New England and the different places that he's been and obviously in college and what he's accomplished at USC. When he took the USC program over, it had a ways to go. They went to the [Las] Vegas Bowl, I believe, his first year and he just kept working and working. Now they've had great success, winning national championships. Now, recruiting wise, they pretty much have control of what they want to do. How can you not have respect for a guy like that, a program like that, and what they've done? I've known him before that ever occurred, when he was an assistant in college and in the NFL. He's always been a guy that's a football mind and a guy that really loves the game. He spends a lot of time studying it, and he's obviously very good at it."

Dennis Erickson on whether USC's talent is the best in the country:

"I see that they've got a great deal of talent. I haven't studied all the other teams in the country, so it's hard for me to tell. I know they've got more talent than anybody that we've played. You can take that for what it's worth. They're a talented football team. Sometimes you have trouble understanding how hard it is to win every game that you play. Sometimes you're in a situation as a program, like USC, and like it was when I was at Miami, and like it is at a couple different places, that everybody expects you to win every game. That doesn't happen. That's hard to do. So it's like Lloyd Carr. I think Lloyd Carr is one of the greatest coaches that's ever coached the game at Michigan. You don't go to the Rose Bowl every year, or you don't do this, now all of a sudden, you're not successful. So, sometimes things have changed over the years. USC is great program that's been successful over the last six years and will continue to be successful. They will lose a game occasionally. That happens."

Dennis Erickson on USC's tradition:

"SC is SC. It's unlike a lot of programs in the country. They have great tradition over the years, from John McKay to John Robinson, you can go on and on. The tradition is unbelievable. Believe me, I'm not the chamber of commerce for USC by any means, but you've also got to understand the tradition that they do have. Whoever was going to be the coach there had a chance to get it going, there's no question about that."


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