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2020 Arizona Tuesday: Trojans Reflect on Comeback Win

Nov 10, 2020

Game Notes vs. Arizona (PDF)

After surviving an upset bid by ASU, the Trojans now prep for their first road test at Arizona.

  • Center Brett Neilon suffered an ankle injury on Saturday and is questionable for the Arizona game, while DL Brandon Pili had surgery on his finger and is also questionable for Arizona. Justin Dedich would start in Neilon's place if he's unable to go.
  • USC OC Graham Harrell acknowledged that his offense turned the ball over too much on Saturday, but was proud of how the team bounced back. "You got to take care of the football," he said. "I don't think there was any panic ... Yeah, we were frustrated because we should have had more points than that, but the positive was, we had moved the ball well all day."
  • RB Vavae Malepeai was thoughtful in breaking down his goal-line fumble. "Our whole coaching staff really emphasizes selfless, tough and disciplined and that played a big role into my mindset in the game," he said. "I obviously did a selfish act by trying to reach for the end zone on first down. They always say unless it's fourth down or the end of the game, never reach for it, and I did that."
  • Harrell is proud of how WR Drake London stepped up on Saturday. "Drake's an extremely confident kid," Harrell said. "Experience and success produces confidence, which is natural ... He's as gifted of a receiver as I've ever been around, with a skill set that's rare in football, with his size and ball skills and body control."
  • Harrell explained how he drew up the game-winning touchdown from Kedon Slovis to London. "On that final play, as soon as I saw the coverage, we switched formations and we called that play," he said. "That's probably the play we call more than any other play in our offense ... As soon as we saw the coverage, I knew where the ball was going to go and I had a lot of confidence."
  • WR Tyler Vaughns said he also has a lot of confidence in his QB. "He's more comfortable with the offense and with all the other guys on the team," Vaughns said. "It shows out there just how he's shooting off the ball and putting everybody in spots they need to be."
  • USC head coach Clay Helton is happy with the win, but looking ahead to Arizona. "Good young quarterback in Grant Gunnell," said Helton. "On film, a little bit different style of quarterback, but I thought he did an exceptional job coming in, handling the RPO game, which is a big part of their offense ... Has good deep ball accuracy, and when you go back and look at the tape, he is a quarterback that protects the ball. Only one interception in eight games that he was in last year."
  • For the second week in a row, the Trojans will go up against a first-year defensive coordinator in Arizona's Paul Rhoads. "You don't know what you're going to see, so you lean on what you're good at, what your kids can execute," said Helton.