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2020 Arizona Wednesday: Defense Ready to Step Up

Nov 11, 2020

Game Notes vs. Arizona (PDF)

The Trojans look to improve defensively in their first road test on Saturday against Arizona.

  • USC DC Todd Orlando acknowledged that there's a lot to improve on prior to facing Arizona, but said he's "really proud of the guys, some of our big-time players stepped up and made plays towards the tail end of the game."
  • Junior defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu, who was named Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week, was praised by Orlando for his performance on Saturday. "It's my junior year, so I feel like I got to step it up a little bit," Tuipulotu said.
  • "Our defense did a good job of not giving in," Tuipulotu said. "We didn't give up." He credited the defense for keeping the energy up to make critical plays when the Trojans were down late in the fourth quarter.
  • The rotation of the defense, according to Orlando, is based on how well players perform in practice.  "There are no participation awards, there's no favoritism," he said. "If you practice your tail off, you're going to be playing on Saturdays.
  • True freshman kicker Parker Lewis was named the starter prior to last week's game and did not disappoint in his first performance. Saturday was Lewis' first in-game onside kick.  "I'm just really glad everything went well," he said. "That was such a crazy, intense moment, I can't even tell you what was going through my head."
  • Orlando recognized that the team's performance Saturday left room for growth, saying, "I've got to do a better job coaching, we've got to do a better job of getting off the blocks and separating, and we will, I can promise you that."
  • As the Trojans look towards facing Arizona and QB Grant Gunnell on Saturday, Orlando is prepared to shift to match the play style of the Arizona offense. "It's different, we're going to have to be fast, we know they're going to try to run the football, so we have to stop the run to begin with," Orlando said.  "We're excited. We know we can play much, much better than we did."