USC 49, Hawaii 36

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10 observations and an interview with our player of the game...

  • Lane Kiffin is 1-0 as USC's head coach.  However, he's neither happy nor satisfied.  Discipline was Kiffin's first priority upon arrival at Troy, so he was particularly disappointed with 11 penalties for 100 yards, including two personal fouls.
  • Marc Tyler is the tailback.  True to his word, Kiffin gave Tyler the opportunity to get into a rhythm and it paid dividends late.  With Hawaii pushing back, Tyler ripped off a 44-yard TD run to cap the scoring.  He finished with 17 carries for 154 yards.  Allen Bradford and C.J. Gable each had eight.
  • The Trojans have tricks up their sleeve.  With their unorthodox alignment, they saw two opportunities to go for two out of an extra point formation.  Mitch Mustain had a little too much adrenaline on the first ball, but he made up for it with a run.  "I'm glad I got in and finished the night off well," Mustain said.  "Redeem myself for that first two-point."
  • I won't be surprised if USC does some tackling in practice this week.  They made it through the game without any major injuries, but they struggled bringing players down in the open field.  With the amount of offensive talent left on the schedule, they'll need to get that fixed.  "Wrapping up, I think we need to do a better job of wrapping up," Shareece Wright said after the game.
  • The offense had the ball for 10 drives and scored seven touchdowns.  They were perfect in the red zone, which was a problem last season.  "We had them from the start," OL Kris O'Dowd said.  "We have a lot of improvement to do, but at the same time, I'm really happy with our preparation and how we played as an offensive line and an offensive unit."
  • Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron are two of the best defensive football coaches in America.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that USC gave up 588 yards, 36 points and allowed three different Hawaii receivers to get over 100 yards for the game. 
  • Without much pressure on the quarterback or tight coverage in the secondary, the Trojans were unable to force a turnover.  With Brandon Carswell's fumble, they were -1 for the game.  The best Trojan teams from the last decade were notoriously opportunistic, so I'm sure turnovers will be a talking point next week.
  • The offense struggled on 3rd down last year, but they were fantastic tonight.  While matching a school record five touchdowns, Barkley's efficiency was even more impressive.  He finished 18/23 for 257 yards, no interceptions and just one sack.  Plus, the offense was 9 of 12 converting 3rd downs.
  • Being game one, the coaching staff had no good tape on Hawaii, so the newly installed pistol offense caught them off guard.  They were working off last year's offensive scheme, which was different.
  • Ronald Johnson has been consistently dominant since the new staff's arrival.  He was so good in Spring ball and Fall camp that we almost took it for granted.  Tonight, he could not be ignored.  He caught three touchdowns, returned one and grabbed a two-pointer, so he accounted for 26 points.  Let's here from the star of the game...

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