USC Trojans football coach Clay Helton addressed the media after Wednesday’s practice. The Trojans spent much of Wednesday’s practice focusing on third downs. Colorado’s third down efficiency is among the best in the nation and the Trojans defense will have to get off the field on third downs if they want to beat Colorado.
Colorado’s offense also is highly effective when using the run pass option. Colorado has a quarterback that can move the pocket and move the chains with their feet when necessary so stopping the run pass option will be critical to the success of the defense. Part of the way USC hopes to do this is to get penetration and pressure the quarterback but also keep him contained. Getting pressure on the QB is not entirely helpful if there is a running lane for him to take off running to get a first down.
At the same time the Colorado offense has plenty of deep vertical threats and the Buffaloes can really move the ball through the air. The USC secondary will need to keep their composure and handle their assignments to keep the Buffs passing game in check. Once again guys like Adoree’ Jackson and Biggie Marshall will have to step up.
Last week against Arizona State Clay Helton took some grief about going for it on 4th down very early in the game on the USC side of the field. The Trojans failed to convert. Helton said that because Arizona State has such a dangerous, high-powered offense they had to be aggressive. Helton stated he has a similar view of Colorado and will likely have a similar aggressive mindset in all three phases Saturday afternoon against the Buffaloes.
Zach Banner is still dealing with an ankle injury. He missed the Arizona State game but the line still held up well. Banner is once again doubtful for Colorado. Jabari Ruffin is going through concussion protocol and he is doubtful for Saturday. Ykili Ross the safety is also dealing with a shoulder injury and is doubtful for Saturday. Tight End Taylor McNamara is still dealing with a lower back injury but Helton said he’s had two good days and he’s up and moving around on the practice field.
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