Skip to main content

2020 ASU Wednesday: Defense Ready to Make an Impact

Nov 4, 2020

Gameday Central | Game Notes vs. ASU (PDF)

USC's defense is prepared to compete as the countdown to Saturday's season opener against Arizona State continues.

  • Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando is excited about what the team accomplished during the offseason and training camp, especially focusing physically challenging the defense. "We're all very excited to get going," said Orlando. "It's been a long road."
  • The safety unit has been "exceptional, on the field and off the field," according to Orlando. RS junior safety Isaiah Pola-Mao said that the safeties unit "wants to be the heart and soul of this team. This defense isn't going to work without our communication and without our leadership."
  • The defense will go head-to-head with ASU's QB Jayden Daniels. Pola-Mao and junior ILB Palaie Gaoteote IV commented on Daniels' skills as a player, but aren't intimidated. "It changes nothing for us," said Pola-Mao. 'It doesn't matter who steps on the field, we're always going to play the way we play, and that's just running with fanatical effort and running and hitting somebody."
  • With the Coliseum empty on Saturday, the Trojans will need to create their own energy to power up the team. "The sideline's got to bring a lot of energy, as well as us on the field," said Gaoteote IV. "We're just excited to play, so I think juice won't be a problem."
  • Sophomore OLB Drake Jackson is "ready to go," according to Orlando. "He's much more explosive now, and he's still physical."
  • Orlando is "really, really proud" of sophomore ILB Ralen Goforth. "I love the way he approaches everything," Orlando said. "He works his tail off. He's one of the harder workers that we have."
  • Orlando called this season a "free year" due to the modified NCAA rule concerning eligibility and is leaving open the possibility for younger, less experienced players to go out and play. 
  • "It's a brotherhood," said Orlando. "Everybody's got their role, and the expectation is to do things that are uncommon."