Utah State Wednesday: Notes

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Chuckie Keeton, Chuckie Keeton, Chuckie Keeton...
  • The USC defense is "mostly focusing on the quarterback" this week, DE Leonard Williams said.  The emphasis is on "keeping him in the pocket and not letting him get outside."  Keeton is a dual threat, so the Trojans want to make him one dimensional by forcing him to be a pocket passer.
  • The Utah State offense also poses a tempo challenge.  "They go really fast," said Williams who compared the Aggies' pace to Oregon's.  With no-huddle offenses up and down the Pac-12, USC has made the adjustment in practices.  "The tempo that we go in practice definitely prepares us for games," Williams said.  "I'll be winded in practice, but by the time the game comes, I'll be completely fine by the 4th quarter."
  • While Utah State is hardly a traditional power, the general consensus is that the Aggies are the toughest of USC's first four opponents.  "The coaches tell us that they are very good, and don't underestimate them because they are Utah State," said Williams. "We can't underestimate a team by their logo or what they've been in the past."
  • Lane Kiffin on the same topic: "Your concern always in a game like this is your players not understanding how good the other team is."  The coaches have cut up film to get the point across to the players how effective Utah State has been on the road against BCS opponents in the last few years.
  • The Lane Kiffin press conference is not easy to hear with an extremely loud exercise class going on behind him, but please jack up your volume and do your best.  The head coach mostly talked about facing the challenge of Keeton and Utah State plus the effect Clancy Pendergast has had on the USC defense.

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