What frustrated me about last weeks loss to ASU was that it wasn't a defensive collapse like we saw in a number of games last season.
The problem last week was on the offensive side.
The O-line had a difficult time protecting Matt Barkley and when he did get protection he missed a number of opportunities to points on the board.
The obvious question on offense is how is Barkley progressing? He has been able to pick defenses apart in the past and we have all seen him make some spectacular throws, it is his consistency that is the biggest concern.
I found it odd that Barkley couldn't get the protection he needed yet the running game when Marc Tyler is in there seems to be pretty effective. It makes me wonder how the running game will be next year after Tyler departs.
Beating Arizona today is going to all about one thing...stopping QB Nick Foles.
If given time Foles will give USC's defense fits. The USC secondary is in dire need of a complete, solid game, as they are going to be challenged today, Foles has done it against USC before.
Its a given that the defensive scheme won't change when it comes to the secondary so it's going to be all on the front seven to pressure Foles and break up his rhythm.
To me it really is that simple.
I am still concerned about Matt Barkley getting the time he needs to make solid throws but this Arizona defense isn't quite up to the talents of ASU. Doesn't mean that the O-Line get to relax, just that it might not be as difficult as last week.
I get it, Arizona is battle tested but I think some are overplaying that angle. Obviously, USC can't go to sleep on Arizona but in their three losses to ranked teams the games from the score perspective looked to be blow outs.
Arizona is virtually non-existent in stopping the run. So, will USC be able to assert themselves in the running game? Marc Tyler could have a big day today...
Tyler anticipates another heavy workload Saturday when the Trojans play Arizona at the Coliseum.
"You never know how many carries you're going to get," he said. "But I've been getting a lot, so I'm ready for a lot."
Tyler had 149 yards in 22 carries last week at Arizona State. His touchdown run early in the third quarter briefly gave the Trojans the lead.
Again, that all depends on the O-Line.
That being said, to me, today is all on the defense...Arizona for the most part is one-dimensional. Take away their biggest threat and USC should be OK.
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Here are Lane's practice notes from Thursday...
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Some other miscellaneous things...
T.J. McDonald isn't going to change the way he plays the game. It is clear that the officials across the sport are taking a harder line on personal foul calls. If its close they will call it, but it is still inconsistent. After watching McDonald's calls a number of times I still think the calls were iffy. McDonald says he isn't going to change the way he plays...I don't blame him. There was a reason why the great Joe Gibbs wouldn't send the fun bunch (or any of his receivers) across the middle...why take the chance? I am all for player safety but sometimes things get out of hand.
There has been a lot of great things said freshman receiver Marqise Lee. Kiffin has said that Lee is ahead of the curve as far development when compared to Robert Woods. Even though Lee has made a few mistakes in his young career, but the praise continues to come in. It is still early yet but I would agree that Lee has the opportunity to be another one of USC's great all-time receivers if he keeps his development up.
5 things to watch: Arizona-USC - ESPN Los Angeles
Friday night video extras - ESPN Los Angeles
Here is look back at last week...
You can check out Lane Kiffin's video archive on Fox Sports here.