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Arizona Prep

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The big question about this weeks game against Arizona is obvious...How will USC bounce back after getting blown out by ASU in Tempe?

I have heard that a number of USC's upper classmen have been upbeat in making sure that team morale stays upbeat. That is key, a positive attitude is always the first step.

But once you get on the field attitude will get you only so far.

My biggest concern is how will USC defend Arizona's passing game?

It all starts with Arizona QB Nick Foles...

Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles' numbers have been spectacular so far this season, the Michigan State transfer throwing for 10 touchdowns and no interceptions with a completion percentage higher than 70 percent.


But the intriguing thing about the Arizona offense is that there are so many targets. Through four games, seven Wildcats have at least 130 yards receiving, including four with 199 yards or more in Criner, Dan Buckner, David Roberts and David Douglas.

Foles numbers are impressive and as we know, even though USC won 24-21 last year, Foles has beaten USC before.

Arizona is ranked fifth in the nation averaging 370 yards passing per game with Foles averaging 70% in passing.

The USC defense is better than last year but still has plenty of issues...missed tackles and stupid penalties among the biggest issues. There is also some depth issues. Anthony Brown should get the call in place of the injured Torin Harris.

Arizona's problem is that other than the passing game they have little else, so the key is the front four getting pressure on Foles to keep him from getting into a rhythm.

And, with no running game to make a defense honest, defenders line up like Usain Bolt, eagerly anticipating opportunities to get sacks against an offensive line with five new starters. The Wildcats have yielded 12 sacks -- including five in the blowout loss to Oregon -- most in the Pac-12.

Get to Foles and force him to make mistakes and it will be tough for Arizona to get things going.

Arizona has a lot of youth on their team as well, that has shown itself in their three losses...

Stoops said that the Wildcats' lack of maturity has hurt them in key situations of three consecutive blowout losses to top-10 teams. Just when the young guys finally get an unranked opponent, they get a new test - their first conference road game Saturday at USC.

To be honest, I really don't care about Arizona's issues...just that USC exploits those issues.

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Here is Kiffin after practice.

Here is Monte after practice.

Here a few links...

Three questions with Coach Kiffin - ESPN Los Angeles

Arizona Wednesday Notes - Ripsit

Farmer practicing at running back - ESPN Los Angeles

Thomas, Simmons out for season - ESPN Los Angeles

How the truth got Barkley in trouble - The Orange County Register