This Saturday features a match-up between two of the most athletic quarterbacks in the nation: USC Trojans quarterback JT Daniels, and Arizona Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate. Both look to lead their team to their third win of the season.
1.) Iman Marshall records the Trojans’ first interception of the year
After a total of six interceptions during Iman Marshall’s freshman and sophomore year, he has yet to catch a pass from an opposing quarterback. After leading the USC Trojans with 10 passes defended last season, and tied for three passes defended this year, Marshall is hungry for an interception. For a defense that many have said to be one of the best in the nation, the Trojans have yet to record a take away through the air. This Saturday will finally be the day that USC intercepts its first ball of the year, thanks to Marshall, who has been the rock on the Trojans’ defense all season.
2.) USC’s defense sacks Khalil Tate five times
After a speculator 2017 season, where Khalil Tate had over 1,500 yards passing and a passer rating of 152.4, Tate is among the select few this season who could win a Heisman Trophy. The Trojans however, look to contain this duel-threat quarterback, when they take on the Wildcats this week. Unlike their game against the Cougars last Friday, the Trojans will have their two premier defenders in Porter Gustin and Cameron Smith for the entire game. With this power duo, and a hungry defense line, USC will be able to consistently break down the pocket, and sack Tate five times.
3.) Michael Brown kicks two field goals over 40 yards
After the loss of Chase McGrath, due to an ACL tear, the Trojans were looking to find answers at the kicking position. They may have found their savior in sophomore, Michael Brown. With many fans speculating who should now kick for the Trojans, Brown helped ease many of these nerves, as he was perfect in his first game against the Washington State Cougars. Out of the 39 points the Trojans scored against the Cougars, Brown accounted for seven of them with one field goal and four extra points. A confident Brown will come into Saturday’s game against the Wildcats and nail two field goals over 40 yards.
4.) JT Daniels throws for over 400 yards
After a slow first quarter to the season, JT Daniels exploded onto the scene throwing for 241 yards and three touchdowns against the Cougars last Friday. After turning the ball over three times in the game against the Texas Longhorns, Daniels did not turn the ball over against the Cougars defense. Playing much more composed and relaxed at the LA Coliseum, Daniels finally showed off what many fans expected to see coming into this season. With a much more improved receiving core, he will easily tear up the Wildcat defense, passing for over 400 yards.
5.) The Trojans hold J.J. Taylor to under 100 yards rushing
As much as USC has to build their game plan around Heisman hopeful Khalil Tate, the Trojans still have to focus much of their attention on high powered running back, J.J. Taylor. After a slow start to the season, Taylor broke loose last week, running all over the Oregon Beavers defense for 284 yards and two touchdowns. If the Trojans want to win this game, they will have to be successful in shutting down Taylor to short yardage plays. As hard as this sounds, USC will come into this game as hyped as ever, and contain Taylor to under 100 rushing yards.