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2020 Utah Wednesday: USC Prepares for Another Road Test

Nov 18, 2020

Game Notes vs. Utah (PDF)

As the Trojans prepare for their second consecutive road test, the team is focused on continual improvement week to week.

  • "Had a little bit of adversity early on in the game," said USC DC Todd Orlando about last week's matchup at Arizona. "But I really liked the fact that we had a whole bunch of guys step up, played some really incredible ball for us, and found a way to win a ball game."      
  • Orlando stressed the importance of translating practice habits to in-game situations, emphasizing the importance of physicality and speed as the team improves each week.
  • Sophomore ILB Ralen Goforth, who Orlando praised at the start of the season for his discipline in film work and dedication to improvement, feels that he's fitting in well with the defense this season.  "Football is football, if you can play you can play," Goforth said. "I've got the system down, and I'm grasping it."
  • Safeties coach Craig Naivar was the last member of the coaching staff to face Utah after coaching Texas' defense against Utah in a bowl game last year. Orlando says that Naivar has had "a lot" of input in the game plan this week.
  • Orlando expects Utah to run the ball, and knows that their style of play will once again be an adjustment for the team to match. "We're excited about this week, we know how this game's going to go down, excited to get back on the road again and to actually just play another game," Orlando said.
  • OLB Drake Jackson, who had a career-high two sacks last week, says he feels much quicker and "more twitchy" this season. "They're just having me play free, letting me do what I do," Jackson said.
  • Orlando acknowledged the need for improvement for the defense leading into this week's game, especially as the Trojans face new offensive play styles. "When we get these things collectively done, we're going to be in good shape," Orlando said. "We're not in this business to be average, or a little bit good, we want to try to be great, and just work at it every day."