2010 Game #3: USC at Minnesota

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Here's how the Trojans can brave the Midwest chill...

1.) Speed Kills

Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State...  USC has had great recent success against the Big Ten mostly due to their speed advantage.  While the Trojans bring size off the bench with David Ausberry and Jordan Cameron, the outside starters are blazers.  Ronald Johnson and Robert Woods can flash their sprinter speed if Matt Barkley has time to let the routes develop.

2.) Weber State

Four-year starter Adam Weber is the key to this Gophers offense and their chances Saturday.  He does not run nearly as much as he used to, but that always seems to be a problem for the Trojans hard crashing ends (Hawaii's Bryant Moniz was not known as a runner either).  If they can put some disciplined pressure on Weber, the turnovers might finally start flowing.
3.) Tackle Box

Minnesota RB Duane Bennett has been explosive this season with four runs of 20+ yards.  The no-tackling policy was barely mentioned after last week's solid defensive effort against Virginia, but Bennett will expose USC if they are not fundamentally sound when bringing him down.  Even more, the Trojans have struggled with speedy backs this season, so they'll need to set a hard edge on the outside and keep Bennett boxed in.

4.) Big Ten Football

The conference is known for physical, grind-it-out football, which is not typically USC's style.  While they want to get big plays from RoJo and company, the offensive line needs to reestablish their identity after an off week.  With Marc Tyler running downhill, the Trojans should rack up ground yards like they did against Hawaii and beat the Big Ten at their own game.

5.) P is for...

Hopefully not penalties.  Lane Kiffin wants toughness and discipline.  After two games, the Trojans have fallen short of the latter goal.  USC leads the nation in flags, which became particularly embarrassing during last Saturday's Coliseum flagfest.  The coaching staff has not uttered the word this week in an attempt at reverse psychology.  The scientific study will be put under the microscope tomorrow.

The offensive line wants to regain that Hawaii swagger.

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SC will get better as the season moves on, goodluck guys.

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