clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USC vs. ASU: Focusing on Burfict

Here is a question I saw on one of the boards today...

If you could only take one, who would you take...Vontaze Burfict or Manti Te'o?

Both are and will be solid performers. USC wanted them both...and USC missed on both.

But while both are solid players, I think USC fans are far more worried about Burfict than they are Te'o. Both are nasty, tenacious LB's but Burfict is in a class all by himself.

Burfict has no problem with the well placed cheap shot or grabbing of the facemask.

So as ESPN's Ted Miller asks..."What makes Burfict, Burfict?" (via the LAT)

But rare is a player like Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who just might be the most feared man in college football.

"Between the whistles," USC Coach Lane Kiffin said, "he's as dominant as there is in the country."

Monte Kiffin, USC's defensive coordinator, described Burfict this way: "He's unbelievable. He's big, fast, strong. He's got great talent. He's going to be playing on Sundays, there isn't any doubt about that."

But talent aside, Burfict is a dirty player.

Barkley isn't much of a Burfict fan.

"He's a dirty player," the quarterback said, basing his opinion on what he suggests were efforts by the linebacker to injure him by diving at his knees during a high school game.

"His switch is always on. And it's not a good switch."

Even his supporters — coaches, teammates and family members — acknowledge that he navigates a fine line between rage and restraint.

USC's biggest concern is if Burfict cheap shots someone knocking them out of the game. The guy can play but he is a loose cannon. It is going to be interesting to see how he performs on Saturday night.

He is the one player that everyone will be keeping an eye on.