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2020 UCLA Wednesday: Trojans Prep for Crosstown Showdown

Dec 9, 2020

Game Notes vs. UCLA (PDF)

With rivalry week underway, the Trojans look forward to Saturday's matchup at the Rose Bowl against UCLA.

  • Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando praised the defense's performance on Sunday in the Trojans' win over Washington State. "We're continuing to play really, really hard, with a lot of energy and cutting it loose," Orlando said.
  • Safety Talanoa Hufanga was used in a linebacker role against WSU and came out with an impressive performance, which Orlando was pleased to see. "In terms of the positions that he played during that game, it's incredible," Orlando said. "There wasn't a lot of assignment bust by him. He's a really, really sharp kid."  
  • Defensive lineman Nick Figueroa posted a career-high 3 sacks on Sunday, and said the unit was supportive of his success. "Our D-line's a really tight-knit group, we just always want to see each other be successful, and when that success happens, it starts to be a little bit contagious," he said.
  • USC has seen an increase in turnovers as a product of the defense, which Orlando credits to "players making plays, it's that simple, they're making all the plays."
  • Orlando mentioned the evolution of coaching style that the staff has taken to produce the best results. "The part that I've learned in the last four-to-five weeks is play loose, play free. If you make a mistake, learn from it, but don't let that slow you down," Orlando said. "That's been our approach, and it's been good. You can see it in the last couple weeks."
  • As the Trojans look ahead to Saturday, Orlando is preparing to face an "explosive" offense in UCLA, led by head coach Chip Kelly. "He wants to run the football, and they have the ability with two really dynamic backs and a quarterback that can run it too, and it presents problems," Orlando said. 
  • USC looks to finish the regular season undefeated with a win over the Bruins on Saturday.