USC News and Notes 10/7

I will be out today and tomorrow traveling on business so posting will probably be light so here is some news, notes and links from the past day or so...

Help is on the way...RoJo and Mondo should be back for the ND Game and that will be big deal on offense as we get a deep threat.

Injured USC wide out Ronald Johnson and defensive end Armond Armstead will return to practice Tuesday afternoon and Trojan coach Pete Carroll is hopeful both will be able to play at Notre Dame October 17.

"We’re thinking that way," Carroll said Tuesday morning. "But we’re kind of wishful thinking around here."

Johnson, perhaps the Trojans’ top deep threat, suffered a broken collarbone in practice in late August. Johnson had 33 receptions for 570 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

Those are some big numbers that the offense needs this season.

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Scott Wolf offers his take on Saturday's win.

This was easily the least interesting matchup in the Carroll-Jeff Tedford rivalry. And it reinforced the idea that while the series is usually entertaining, it is also lopsided. Carroll is now 7-1 against Tedford, and it's been six years since the Bears' highly discussed 34-31 triple overtime victory.

"We were zero dimensional today, because we couldn't run it and we couldn't throw it," Tedford said. "They are that much better than us if we don't execute and we don't throw and catch the football."

USC (4-1, 2-1) should have won by an even bigger margin, but the offense settled for three field goals because of errant Matt Barkley passes near the end zone. But as the Trojans' offense slowly progresses each week, it allows USC to improve because the defense is consistently shutting down the opposition.

"We love the guys (on defense last year) that left, but the guys that are here are playing great," Carroll said. "We are very solid right now."

He is right...for all of the hype early in the season about Cal this game was a stinker. I am sure that some will say the same thing about SC's loss to UW but SC has more than proven their worth nationally...Cal? Not so much.

- - -

Here is Pat Haden on the Dan Patrick show...

PH on DP

This is a good interview from the USC great!

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Interesting take...Pete Carroll offers his thoughts on Taylor Mays running down Jahvid Best

What struck me most about Carroll’s comments: He wanted Cal to get the ball to Best in a situation like that. Seriously. Call it professional curiosity.

"I don’t think there’s anybody (else) that could have made that play against Jahvid," Carroll said. "I was hoping they were going to pitch it and call it, just to see what would happen. It was really a cool play to see. And when they did it was a race – it was as classic a mano a mano situation as you could get."

No question we will miss him when he heads up to the NFL.

Also...

- - -

Taylor Mays picks up some more accolades

From Ted Miller's blog...

USC safety Taylor Mays was named the Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week as well as Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week.

Good time to pause for a moment and appreciate Mays, who led the Trojans with 10 tackles and an interception in their 30-3 drubbing of California.

But first a quiz.

How many touchdown passes has USC allowed this year?

Answer: Zero.

[...]

It's going to be a lot of fun to watch Mays against Notre Dame and quarterback Jimmy Clausen on Oct. 17. With 12 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 68 percent completion percentage, Clausen leads the nation in passing efficiency, while Mays and the Trojans rank third in pass efficiency defense.

But back to Mays against Cal. The play that stuck out to me was not his interception in the endzone.

It was when he chased down Jahvid Best, one of the fastest players in college football, on a third-and-short play in the second quarter.

It wasn't just the speed, though. It was Mays' recognition and reaction. You get the feeling that when Best looked up and threw an abortive stiff-arm he was thinking, "What the heck are you doing here?"

Man, if we had Mays against UW we win that game no question!

- - -

Buster Sports ranks the Pac-10 coaches.

This is an interesting take...

7. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA (Previous 3) The Bruins are taking on the persona Neuheisel had at Washington during the early years, which is, never count them out. What’s missing, though, is Marques Tuiasosopo at quarterback. Stock: neutral.

I still think it is early yet but the play calling was a bit peculiar against Stanford, the defense did not look prepared and the penalties sure didn't show a very disciplined team. The question is how will they look when he has all his players after Norm Chow is gone?

- - -

Check out the video of Clay Matthews last night against Minnesota

Clay rips the ball out!

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I hope to have something tomorrow but I am not counting on it...If not I will back at it on Friday!

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