| Cougars (1-2) vs Trojans (2-1)|
AT A GLANCE
7:15 pm Pacific Time
Players to Know
Matt Barkley QB: Some folks were skeptical about USC starting a true freshman QB. How could an 18 year old possibly be the best quarterback on the nation's more talented program? Now we know. Aaron Corp, who was the nation's No. 3 QB prospect and five stars when he came out of high school according to Scout.com, was abysmal last week, but it was a total team effort by USC in the loss.
Joe McKnight, RB: If I remember my color wheel correctly, red and yellow make orange when blurred together really quickly. I suspect this is what USC fans are referring to when they say he reminds them of Juice.
Last week's performance likely has Corp, (or 'Corpse', as the Huskies players were calling him after last week), returning to the crypt for a few weeks. Barkley will get the nod, even if they have to replace his right arm with a Bud Light foozie. Even then, the Trojans may not decide pass the ball for another week or two.
The Cougs need to build off what worked last weekend. Bend don't break on defense. But the Cougs cannot give up first down after first down as they did along with big chunks of yardage. Disguising defensive packages could prove valuable, but sure tackling is a must. It's a big if, but if the Cougs can force USC to throw...
THE TROJANS ON DEFENSE
Players to Know
Taylor Mays, S: USC was without their best defender against UW. He hopes to be back on the field this week. He was labeled a Top 5 draft pick by many and it was a bit of an upset last year when he didn't come out early for the NFL.
Pete Carroll's 4-3 is giving up a whopping 11.3 points per game this season. While Petros Papadakis is baffled as to how teams continue to score that unusual one-third of a point against such a sound defense, the Cougs must maximize their scoring opportunities at every turn.
Run between the tackles, going out wide is problematic because of the Trojans' speed. Look for one-on-one matchups in the receiving game and put up some jump balls – normally that's too much of a risk but the Cougars will need to take risks in this game. And the Cougs simply must be more consistent on offense. But that task was made more difficult by the season ending injury to James Montgomery, and the loss of 40 percent of the starting o-line to injury for this week.
THE TROJANS ON SPECIAL TEAM
I know Reid Forrest. Reid Forrest is a friend of mine. Billy O'Malley is no Reid Forrest.
Besides Aaron Corp being a dead ringer for the Shamwow guy, there's not much left to say. The Trojans are livid about giving one away last week with fumbles and interceptions on their way to the end zone, plus a whole lot of other untimely mistakes galore. If WSU can make something happen early, if USC feels frustrated early and it becomes Deja Vu all over again for them..