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USC Football vs. Oregon State Practice Report: Defense Looks To Build On Big Second Half

Sep 22, 2021

The Trojan defense looks to make a major impact Saturday when they return to the Coliseum.

  • The defense brought the energy in the second half against Washington State and did not allow any points after halftime. "We started making plays, and the guys that we expect to make plays showed up big and had a lot of momentum going into the third and fourth quarter," defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said.
  • Micah Croom forced a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, leading to the game-tying touchdown and giving the Trojans energy right out of halftime. "People overlook kickoff and special teams coverage, but that determines the basis for our field positioning," Croom said. "It's the little things that add up to the big things, so just taking everything the right way and treating it like it's a championship play is what we're trying to do."
  • Orlando was pleased to see a number of big plays on the defensive end, including a strip sack from Drake Jackson that was recovered by Tuli Tuipulotu for a touchdown. "It's all about the players," Orlando said. "The players stepped up and the guys that can make plays and have done it consistently in practice did it in the game."
  • Calen Bullock had his first career interception Saturday and continues to prove his place on the field as a freshman. "We have to continually roll him, he's too dynamic, he's got such range," Orlando said.
  • Defensive line coach Vic So'oto shared the team's mentality as they prepare to take on Oregon State. "We talk about going 1-0 today, a lot of what we do right now is what we're gonna do in the game, so if we just stick to the plan of what we're doing, we'll be successful."
  • Following an exciting victory last week, the defense looks to keep the same momentum going into Saturday. "We just have to come out there with the mentality to not get beat, just with every play we do," said Isaac Taylor-Stuart. "That's just the mentality we've gotta have, not get beat and do our job."