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2021 USC Football vs. Colorado Practice Report: Defense Makes Adjustments

Sep 29, 2021

The Trojan defense has its sights set on Saturday as they gear up to take on Colorado.

  • Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando is determined to find solutions to the defense's challenges against Oregon State and eliminate mistakes going forward. "A lot of internal stuff that we're doing right now," Orlando said. "It's not what happened, it's why did it happen and how can we fix it and have answers. Take ownership and have answers, that's it."
  • The defense is preparing to take on a Colorado offense that Orlando expects will feature a similar style of play to Oregon State, and is adjusting for such in practice. "We came out and had a really good Tuesday practice, came out again today, to work on some third-down and some tight red zone, we'll tighten it up a little bit more," Orlando said. "These kids are eager, I think we all are eager to get back on the field on Saturday."
  • Both Orlando and Isaiah Pola-Mao were confident that the defense is making the adjustments necessary to improve throughout this week's practices. "It's been mainly positive, everyone wants to get back out there and attack the day and just dominate," Pola-Mao said. "That wasn't us, we just come back and put our work boots on and get back to work."
  • Pola-Mao is focused on leading his unit, reflecting on what needs to be improved as the team moves forward. "It was a lot of little details in our calls that we could've just done better as a unit, just simple things as communication," he said. "That's something that can be fixed."
  • Nick Figueroa also noted the improvements he hopes to see, and how he expects the defense to make an impact. "Being more accountable in terms of our assignments on each and every play is going to be the biggest difference maker," Figueroa said. "Setting better edges, protecting our players in the back end so they don't have to make tackles every play."
  • Freshmen Jaylin Smith and Calen Bullock have made the most of their time on the field thus far, and Orlando is looking to see their presence increase. "Starting to get that feel of like they're ready, they're ready to go, let's give them more opportunities. You'll see them this week," Orlando said.