Clay Helton is happy with the USC offensive balance and how well the team is playing in all three phases of the game. Helton said that Oregon was the most complete game of the season for the Trojans defense and that they have improved in every single game through the first two months of the season.
Sam Darnold hit nine different receivers against Oregon. Clay Helton credited that to Darnold’s maturity as a passer noting that he is not throwing like a freshman quarterback (save for a few poor throws). That maturity has led to Darnold reading defenses, finding the open man, and making good decisions. Being able to spread the ball around to several different receivers will help Darnold because the Washington defensive secondaries is one of the best in the country. I that unit was able to key in on Juju Smith-Schuster they could shut down the passing game entirely. Darnold working so many different weapons into the passing game will put pressure on the Washington secondary.
The two nagging areas for USC during the last five wins have been turnovers and penalties. Helton came right out and said he doesn’t think the Trojans can win on the road against a playoff team like Washington if USC has turnovers or too many penalties. USC is only the 73rd best team in the nation in turnover margin, Washington is 2nd. The Huskies can score a ton of points and USC simply cannot afford to give them extra possessions either in the form of turnovers, prematurely killing drives with offensive penalties, or extending drives with defensive penalties.
Justin Davis is also expected to play for USC on Saturday. Since it has been a while since Davis has played, or fully practiced he will likely be slowly worked back into the offense and as of right now Clay Helton said he does not know how many snaps Davis will play against Washington. Ronald Jones II has played phenomenally well in Davis’ absence so we could see a situation where Jones gets the bulk of the carries and Justin Davis is worked into the game.
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