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2020 Arizona Thursday: Trojans Ready for the Road

Nov 12, 2020

Game Notes vs. Arizona (PDF)

The Trojans look to improve to 2-0 as they take on their first road test this Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats.

  • Head coach Clay Helton has been pleased with the team's efforts this week in practice, especially as they finish their last classes of the semester. "I love how they're handling their business and doing things, really proud of them," he said.     
  • Following a narrow victory over ASU, the team is looking to improve every week of the seven-game slate. "We're each going to have one of those games where you're going to have to fight like heck to win," Helton said. "Good teams, and championship teams find a way to win, and that's what we did last week."
  • Helton praised performances both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. "The defensive line did an outstanding job," Helton said, commending performances by DLs Marlon Tuipulotu, Nick Figueroa, Caleb Tremblay and OLB Drake Jackson. Offensively, Helton was pleased with the runners. "It was good to have Vavae [Malepeai], and Markese [Stepp] back, Stephen [Carr] running violently, and the playmakers being consistent with what they do."
  • DL Brandon Pili is out for this week (finger), and center Brett Neilon (ankle) is "highly doubtful" to play, and will likely be replaced by redshirt sophomore Justin Dedich, who Helton says is "more than capable."
  •  Helton emphasized the importance for the offense to produce as well as not get stopped "via turnover, via third down or via penalty." He expects Arizona's tempo to be the fastest that the team plays this season, and emphasized the importance for the defense to limit big plays on the perimeter.
  • With Arizona playing their first game this weekend, the coaching staff has had to adjust to preparing without seeing this year's Arizona team play previously. "You got to be a great execution-based offense and do what you believe in, and do what your kids are good at," Helton said.
  • The Trojans will go head-to-head with the Wildcats in Tucson at 12:30 pm PT on Saturday in their second nationally televised game of the season.