2010 Game #1: USC at Hawaii

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If the Trojans execute their gameplan, they will walk away comfortable winners, so let's focus on USC's keys instead of breaking down the match-ups.

1.) Win the Physical Battle

It's not a fair fight for the line of scrimmage.  With Butch Lewis and Khaled Holmes now healthy inside Tyron Smith and Matt Kalil surrounding Kris O'Dowd, USC can bully the Warriors up and down Aloha Stadium.  The current crop of Trojan runners are not dancers.  Marc Tyler and Allen Bradford will hit the whole paved for them and finish runs by lowering their shoulders.  If the Trojans stay with it, they can sap the Warriors will before the clock hits zeroes.

2.) No More Gold Jerseys

DE Armond Armstead and DT Jurrell Casey have spent most of camp bursting past blockers, but pulling up short of driving the quarterback into the turf because of course, no one gets to hit the golden boys.  Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz does not have that same luxury.  He'll likely drop back to pass between 30-50 times, so the Trojans will have ample opportunities to introduce themselves to his ribcage.

3.) Nickell's Nickel

Freshman CB Nickell Robey has opened eyes on Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Fields, but as we know, there are not that many eyeballs watching practice anymore.  Robey will likely be locked up with senior WR Greg Salas, Hawaii's best weapon, throughout the game.  If the rookie can tame the veteran on ESPN, he won't be anonymous for long.

4.) Barkley-to-Woods

If you are looking for the identity of Lane Kiffin as an offensive play-caller, think back to his days as a USC wide receivers coach.  He takes great pride in the rapid development of Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith, etc..  The Trojans have not had an impact freshman receiver since Kiffin left the program.  By listing him as a starter, Kiffin has shown the confidence that the Matt Barkley-Robert Woods combo will bear fruit for years to come.

5.) Sharks in the Water

Before the home opener, I'll give you a full list of John Baxterisms, so you're prepared to support the special teams properly.  Even on TV, you might notice the punt block team use their hand to make a fin on top of their helmet.  They are known as the "sharks" and the band will queue them with the Jaws theme song.  After all the preparation, a shark attack feels imminent.

The local paper gives the QB edge to Hawaii's Moniz over Barkley. (sorry blackberry pic)


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