WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 11, 2018 at 9:16 pm.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

–RB Stephen Carr had his most active game in almost a calendar year, showing no signs of limitation from offseason back injury. Carr rushed 10 times for 52 yards against Stanford and caught three passes for 12 yards.

Carr’s ability as a pass-catcher made him an invaluable counter-punch with Ronald Jones II last season before injury sidelined him. With Aca’Cedric Ware handling the majority of carries through the first two weeks, look for Carr to again establish himself as a weapon in the passing game to counter.

–WR Amon-Ra St. Brown was JT Daniels’ primary and most effective target in Week 1, but the true freshman caught just two passes against Stanford. He missed hauling in a would-be touchdown reception that would have been a game-changer for the Trojans.

“It wasn’t for a lack of trying to get him the ball,” said coach Clay Helton. “He did a nice job opening up a new personnel grouping that involves him in the slot. It opened him up a few times, the ball just didn’t find him.”

–S C.J. Pollard takes on a more significant role in the secondary this week, with the already-thin unit losing Isaiah Pola-Mao to a shoulder injury. Helton praised Pollard for his performance stepping in against Stanford, which included a pair of tackles.

–DE Jay Tufele debuted with a sack against UNLV and was in on a pair of tackles vs. Stanford. The freshman’s rotation into the lineup adds another potential playmaker to benefit from offenses having to double-team edge rusher Porter Gustin.

SERIES HISTORY: USC leads Texas 5-1. Last season’s 27-24, double-overtime win in Los Angeles by the Trojans made it four consecutive contests between the programs decided by four points — a trend going back to 1966.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “You’ve got to have some of those explosion plays, hopefully in the passing game. We got one with (wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.), and just fell short on some other ones. When you have those explosion plays, it makes things a whole lot easier,” — Clay Helton on USC’s lack of long-yardage plays against Stanford.

 

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