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USC News Round up

Some USC news and notes form around the LA print media.

Patterson getting a second look

The OC Register has a story Travon Patterson and how, should Dwayne Jarrett go to the NFL, he could be the heir apparent in the USC Wide Receiving corps.

Travon Patterson might be emerging as the play-making heir to Jarrett and Smith, both of whom might be in the NFL next year. Patterson, the fastest player on USC's roster, has caught all three passes thrown his way, including a pair of 22-yarders in mop-up duty against Stanford.

"He's had tough catches with guys around him," Coach Pete Carroll said. "There's been nothing easy about any of the plays he's made. He's doing well. I just really wish his consistency in practice showed up more."

This is one the benefits of Pete Carroll's recruiting efforts. He lines up the talent and cultivates it so that he doesn't miss a beat. Of course it takes time for the player to fit into the system.

The Quiet Giant

Senior Center Ryan Kalil has made his mark on the USC Offense over the last couple of years. With all of his experience he is can be counted on to be a mentor to the new faces on the offensive line as well as the backfield. He has the pedigree from his dad, who played with the Buffalo Bills, to be a leader in the NFL.

From The LA Times.

This season, he anchors an offense that features a triangle of first-year starters at quarterback and both guard spots.

"He's like a second quarterback out there," offensive line coach Pat Ruel said. "Ryan's the one that's pulled everything together. He's our focal point."

It was Kalil who animatedly implored coaches to keep running the ball during the Trojans' game-winning, fourth-quarter drive against Arizona State.

Two weeks later, with the Trojans trailing by 23 points in the second half at Oregon State, it was Kalil who called teammates together on the sideline.

"He took off his helmet and said some stuff in that circle that was crazy; I almost cried," guard Chilo Rachal recalled. "He said, 'We've got to go. We've got to dig deep. This is what we're made for.' It was like Braveheart-type stuff."

It's this type of leadership that motivates teams to dig deep. SC is lucky to have him.

Maualuga ready to step up

With so much talent many have questioned Rey Maualuga's aggressive play. He was pulled last week against Stanford because he misread a screen pass. There is no question that he is an important part of the defense but now is the time to temper his game in order to the necessary plays that SC needs to win out in this tough part of the schedule.

From Scott Wolf at the Daily News

"It's really about seeing if the practices have just been a walk through without learning or a big learning phase for me," Maualuga said.

Maualuga got yanked from the Stanford game by USC coach Pete Carroll after reading a pass play incorrectly.

"It'll be a big test for me," he said. "I need to be aggressive but do some film watching. They run a similar offense to Texas. The linebacker has to read it as a run or pass."

That could be a problem with a complex offense. But Oregon's might not be as unusual as it seems. After studying about 200 plays, Maualuga said the quarterbacks were designed to run only 17 times.

"But they might try to fake it and get me to bite," he said. "I've got to get this thing straight and keep my head up."

Rey will get it together but he needs to do it now, as SC needs all hands on deck in the next 4 weeks.

Things start to get interesting starting this weekend. A good showing against the Ducks this weekend gets SC ready for their match-up against Cal next weekend. I'm confident that they can pull it together.