Lots of interesting tidbits about some individual players in the local papers over the past few days that I want to get to.
You all know how much I have wanted to see Allen Bradford get on the field the past two seasons, he has really shown the ability to play the power back role in this offense. Last weekend he made a pretty big contribution in SC's win over UVA and I would suspect that he is going to get even more carries as the season moves on.
Now that he is developing a role as a power back in USC's tailback rotation, Allen Bradford is about to take a star turn.
Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that along with his regular repetitions with the first-unit offense, Bradford would likely serve as a model for Ohio State's Chris"Beanie" Wells when the top-ranked Trojans begin focused preparations for the third-ranked Buckeyes.
This gives USC so many options when attacking an opponents defense. You just never know where they will come at you next. Last season there were rumors that Bradford might transfer but that is all in the past as he fills an important niche on this team. He's not going anywhere!
Another player that is getting some attention this week is Broderick Green. Green is another one of those players that we can't wait to see what he can do. He could play the power back role Like Bradford and really make some noise this season.
Running back Broderick Green said he had been feeling left out of USC's tailback mix and needed to speak with Coach Pete Carroll. They met for 10 minutes Wednesday.
It might have come at linebacker Rey Maualuga's expense Thursday.
Green took a handoff outside and flattened Maualuga in practice, prompting Carroll to call it the "play of the day." The 6-2, 235-pound back Green Carroll made it clear during their talk that he wants Green to be a "hammer."
"Pound the defense, push the pile, I have that mind-set now," Green said.
"I felt like (the meeting) helped big time."
That must been some meeting with Pete Carroll and it sounds like it was one tough hit on Maualuga, even though Rey downplayed it. There were a lot of high expectations of Green when he committed out of Arkansas last season. That foot injury that sidelined him all of last season must have made him hungry as you can tell he wants to get back on the field.
The one player who had a break out game against UVA was LB Clay Mathews. Talk about starting from scratch! I made note of his performance on Sunday but the OCR has nice little write-up that really puts it all in perspective.
USC defensive tackle Fili Moala was asked who he thought might have a breakout game against Virginia for the Trojans. He guessed Clay Matthews.
"I think it was only a matter of time," Moala said of Matthews, who collected six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the season opener. "He's put a lot of work in. He's built his way up from the bottom."
That is hard to say about someone whose father (Clay) and uncle (Bruce) were All-Americans at USC and had distinguished careers in the NFL. But Matthews arrived four years ago as a walk-on.
"It keeps you humble," he said. "At first when I came in, I was just looking to be a contributor on special teams. I learned every year I was capable of much more.
Those are some big expectations to live up to and he is really living up to them.
Matthews really was under the radar until last season when he started to see more playing time especially when Cush went down with that early ankle injury against Idaho.
Here is Matthews on Mason and Ireland earlier this week.
He really has come a long way!
From the picking up the slack department...the receiving corps continues bask in the glow of a solid performance against Virginia. Of course its just one game but there was a lot to like last Saturday and lot of us think they may have turned the corner.
[But] after an impressive drop-free performance in their opener, USC receivers are confident that the criticism that dogged the unit last season is behind them.Damian Williams, Patrick Turner, Vidal Hazelton and Ronald Johnson each made outstanding catches against Virginia. The receivers intend to continue their momentum next week against Ohio State and beyond.Johnson, however, was the greatest revelation.
"It's going to be throughout the whole season," Hazelton said Thursday.
Williams, the Arkansas transfer, debuted with a team-high seven receptions, Turner caught a touchdown pass and Hazelton had five catches before suffering an ankle sprain.
The speedy sophomore from Michigan acknowledged stadium-sized anxiety when a ball thrown by quarterback Mark Sanchez hung in the air for what seemed like eternity before descending toward him in the end zone.
Again, its just one game but there was a lot to like in their performance on Saturday.
With the bye week coming to a close today we will turn our attention to Ohio State. This game will be huge for so many reasons and there will be a lot to look at...