Lets start with Anthony McCoy!
We all saw how great he played against Penn State in the Rose Bowl and he is now showing us that he is a legitimate contender for the Mackey Award and the he could be a great pick-up in the NFL. He is one of the better blocking TE's in the game and his performance on Saturday simply increased his exposure to those who don't folloow USC on a regular basis.
From the LA Times
McCoy looked like the best tight end in college football against the Fighting Irish, catching five passes for 153 yards and setting up two touchdowns and a field goal in the Trojans' 34-27 win at Notre Dame.
After waiting two seasons behind Mackey Award winner Fred Davis, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound McCoy has developed into an upper-round NFL prospect in his second season as a starter.
"He's got the whole package," USC Coach Pete Carroll said. "Few guys are that flashy and effective as receivers that can also block.
"He's going to be a tremendous prospect at the next level."
McCoy enters Saturday's game against Oregon State averaging a team-best 25 yards a reception. He has caught 14 passes, second on the team to wideout Damian Williams, and overcome a few early drops to become a short, mid-range and deep threat.
"He can stretch the field," freshman quarterback Matt Barkley said. "It's been such an advantage to have that. . . . The way he can run vertically and just have a knack for catching the ball and finding that open window is huge."
I still laugh at the scene of McCoy dragging those ND defenders downfield before thy brought him down short of the goal line. That was a sight! McCoy was honored for his performance against ND by being named the Mackey Award player of the week.
He will continue to play an important role as SC goes down the stretch.
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We are about to enter the second half of the season and now the fun begins. SC has the meat of the schedule in front of them. After this weekends game against Oregon St. SC goes on the road against the Duck's in Eugene then on to Tempe to face ASU. It has been an interesting ride so far, SC has not left us bored that is for sure with huge road wins against Ohio St. and Notre Dame. Yes there was the slip up against the Huskies but with what we have seen from them I think it was clear that the loss of Barkley and Mays along with Sarkisian and Holt knowing the strengths and weaknesses of this team backward and forward combined for a perfect storm for the upset...Hats off to them for the win but lets not get carried away.
The mid-season reviews and award lists are out and SC has some good representation...
Lets start with Ted Miller's Second-half outlook of USC...
Will Washington prove to be the only bump in the road for USC? And if USC rolls to an 11-1 record, will it play its way into the national title game? Or will we see the Trojans matched up again (sigh) with a Big Ten team in the Rose Bowl? It might be more fun if the Trojans lost to Oregon on Oct. 31 and then won out and earned an at-large invitation to another BCS bowl game. It seems like a massive long shot, given the selection procedure, but just picture USC vs. Florida/Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Yummy!
I am not even worrying about the post season, there is way too much football left to play and a couple of tough games still on the schedule...not just Oregon.
If anything the Notre Dame game showed me that we still have some work to do on finishing. The defense took their foot off the gas and let ND back in it, the dumb penalties sooner or later will come back to haunt us and cost us a game and for as great as Matt Barkley played he still is susceptible to making rookie mistakes.
SC needs to tighten a few things up...
Decreasing dumb penalties,3rd down conversions, the running game and the red zone offense still need to improve.
Michael Lev of the OCR has a quick take...
MLB Chris Galippo
Taking over at the heart of an almost all-new front seven, the redshirt sophomore from Servite High has become an instant leader and among the top playmakers for the ninth-ranked defense in the nation. Galippo leads USC in tackles (41), is tied for first in pass breakups (four) and also has five tackles for loss, an interception and a forced fumble.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
RB Allen Bradford
Even though he didn't play much last season because of injuries, Bradford has made the most tangible gains. The redshirt junior entered this season with 123 career rushing yards and a 2.9-yard average. In six games, he has 228 yards and a 6.3-yard average. Also considered: RB Joe McKnight, TE Anthony McCoy, OT Tyron Smith, DT Jurrell Casey, DE Nick Perry and LB Michael Morgan.
Any one of those players listed above could be seen as most improved. Especially Nick Perry. You have to love what PC is doing with him...he is an absolute beast and he will only get better.
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Here are a few links to some mid-season awards.
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Here is an interesting take on the BCS from the WSJ...
Quantitatively and qualitatively, USC looks like the top option should any member of the Alabama-Florida-Texas triumverate falter. The Trojans top Boise, Cincinnati and Iowa in total defense. Of that group, they trail only the Bearcats in total offense. With the nation's ninth-rated defense by yards, the Trojans appeared to have one weakness heading into the season: quarterback play. But Matt Barkley continues to disprove that notion, along with the now-foolish idea that Aaron Corp should've started over him to begin the season. Mr. Barkley threw for 380 yards in the victory over Notre Dame.
If Mr. Barkley hadn't missed the Washington game, the Trojans might already occupy one of the top two spots. But with the way Florida and Texas are playing, who knows – maybe they will again.
It is going to get interesting as we go down the stretch.
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Here is Pete Carroll on PMS
All Pac-10 has their USC/OSU preview up.
Ted Miller has a little more in his "What to watch for in the Pac-10"
Here is a good read by the Trojan Empire on the BCS