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Rivers Getting Attention

Keith Rivers has been quietly leading the defense. His team leading 30 tackles, 14 against WSU!, has been the anchor the past two games.

Williams has been the ultimate utility man throughout his career, playing all three linebacker spots. He also started twice at fullback last season.

Being designated as a starting linebacker is nice but hardly noteworthy, according to Williams.

"Our depth chart is so good, guys are in by the middle of the first quarter," he said. USC's depth, however, is decreasing.

It may not have been flashy but the results are all that matter. Rivers has been unreal in all three games. He doesn't make many jaw-dropping tackles but he's just playing out of his mind right now and getting into the thick of things, making tackles everywhere. It's all come together really nice for him. Rivers is clearly making a name for himself for some post-season awards, he is a legitimate All-America candidate. But those type of awards are all about buzz and name recognition and USC doesn't really promote their guys that way so its nice to see Rivers getting some good publicity.

Dan Weber had some good things to say about Rivers as well earlier in the week.

In comparing this team's defense to those of USC's previous two national title teams under Pete Carroll, you start to think that maybe it can.

First of all, a defensive leader stepped up Saturday, and it's only fitting that Keith Rivers, in recording 14 tackles, had the most by a Trojan since Lofa Tatupu's 14 against Oregon in 2003.

As much talent as USC has put on the field on the defensive side of the ball, it hasn't had a Tatupu, who seemed to know what was coming and where it was going.

Rivers was that person Saturday.

"He was fantastic," Carroll said on his conference call Sunday after watching the game film. "From one guy having 14 tackles to the next guy having six, that's significant. He's a real leader out there."

The linebacker spot has always been one of the stronger positions on USC's roster but this season we are having our share of injuries so a healthy Keith Rivers who is playing consistent makes it all the better for SC.

He is truly setting himself apart.