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Previewing USC vs. Utah State

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The Trojans look to get back on track after a poor season opener

Photo by Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

With an abysmal defeat to #1 Alabama still dazing the Men of Troy, a surprisingly stiff challenge awaits USC as they take on the Utah State Aggies Saturday, Sept. 10.

The Trojans’ home opener at the LA Coliseum couldn’t come sooner with the team needing to showcase its actual talent on offense following a poor 194 total yard performance on opening day.

There is not much to go on thus far for USC given they could not produce legitimate offense over the course of their Alabama trouncing with a clearly overmatched offensive line and play calling devoid of success.

Starting redshirt senior quarterback Max Browne did not look prepared for the limelight throwing for only 104 yards and one interception—all the while only connecting with standout wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster for two receptions for nine yards.

Even though the offense was nowhere to be found, the defense for some part of the game out up a fight, and will continue to show the tenacity and vigor it did throughout the game against the nation’s top-rushing attack in the Utah State Aggies.

Utah State was victorious opening weekend with a resoundingly beating fellow mid-major Weber State 45-6.

Running for a FBS-leading 428 total rushing yards, the Aggies’ opening day ground attack was razor-sharp as four of the team’s running backs each finished with a touchdown.

Carrying the bulk of the load was senior running back Devante Mays who ran for a career-high 208 yards and capped his big day off with three touchdowns.

Stoutly built at 5’11”and 230 lbs., Mays will pose big problems for an already depleted Trojan defensive line who surrendered 242 rushing yards against the Crimson Tide.

The Aggies didn’t show much in the air with junior quarter back Kent Myers throwing for only yards 11-for-17 passing.

USC’s defense showed potential throughout their opening game with their defensive line holding strong against a highly-regarded Alabama offensive line. Trojan cornerbacks junior Adoree’ Jackson and sophomore Iman Marshall continued to be key fixtures in the secondary as Jackson completely shutdown standout sophomore wideout Calvin Ridley limiting him to only nine yards on two receptions. Marshall created the team’s only turnover with his first career interception.

Both Marshall and Jackson showed tenacious effort with the latter frequently chasing down ball carriers with his world-class speed.

With an interesting narrative heading into Saturday’s game, the Trojans will hope to score their first touchdown of the season to go along with their first victory of the season.