In case you missed it, USC flexed its muscle to prove it deserved a No. 1 ranking as they crushed Hawaii 49-10 in the Coliseum. Here are some takeaways from the Trojans’ definitive victory.
Marqise Lee is good. Like, really good.
As if it were ever in doubt, Lee’s talent was displayed on the first snap of the game in a 75-yard scram to the end zone. He ended up with 10 grabs for 191 yards and a score. He and Matt Barkley had it going last night. But the sophomore showed his chops in the return game, taking a kickoff, which followed Hawaii’s sole touchdown, 100 yards to make the game 42-7. After the game, coach Lane Kiffin commended his star, stating, "He’ll be the best ever (one day)." With games like last night, it’s hard to disagree with Kiff.
Welcome to Troy, Silas Redd
On his fourth carry, Silas Redd officially introduced himself to Trojan fans on a 31-yard touchdown run. He didn’t have the best of games, but he sure looked explosive and powerful during his ten touches. He lost a fumble at the end of the first quarter due to suspect ball security. But the guy has been here for just over a month. He may have some cobwebs. Give him a couple games, and the real Silas Redd will show up.
Co-starter Curtis McNeal received just five carries and only gained 10 yards. The run game made no large impact. This must change for the next 11 games to be marked as wins.
The defense: the good and the bad. Nothing was really ugly.
The Good: The defensive line forced great pressure on Sean Schroeder, rattling his cage all night. Five different Trojans recorded one sack on Schroeder (Greg Townsend Jr., George Uko, freshman Leonard Williams, Anthony Sarao and Morgan Breslin). Hayes Pullard was out of his mind -- he is so much fun to watch. He has a controlled recklessness, which makes him the force that he is. And Dion Bailey was quite good, too. The secondary locked down the first half.
The Bad: In the second half, the defensive backs were suspect, allowing Warrior wideouts free for easy catches on drives that led to Hawaii points.
Other than that, the team did what it was supposed to: win in a convincing fashion. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made for next week’s contest in New Jersey against Syracuse.