By Lina S., Rock Mayock’s Pac-12 Research Assistant, 9:30 a.m. | Hey guys, it’s Lena! What’s up?!? Rock Mayock asked me to do some Pac-12 matchup previews since I’m on interim break from Design Institute. I told Rock I’d only help him if he let me go to next weekend’s Kush Expo with EJ. I got my tickets! SCORE! So here is the deal with USC playing Utah tonight.
The Trojans’ history on Thursday night has been kind of crappy. I mean I totally remember USC’s 2008 trip to Corvallis when the Beavers kicked their ass 27-21. USC is on the road in Salt Lake for another Thursday night game, this time against the Utah Utes. I’m gonna tell you what I plan on watching during the game.
This game will totally be won at the offensive line of scrimmage, especially for USC. After Khaled Holmes hurt his leg against Syracuse the O-Line has been super shitty. They can’t run block and Matt Barkley looks like a quarterback piñata the way he keeps getting hit and sacked. Stanford totally bitch slapped them with up the middle pass rush, off the edge pass rush and pretty much any other kind of pass rush they could come up with. On the plus side SC did manage to run the ball a lot better against Cal but I don’t think that Cal is a good measuring stick because they stink. On the down side Holmes reinjured his bum leg during the Cal game but he’s had the bye week to recuperate. The O-Line needs to play well because Utah has one the Conference’s best defensive nose tackles with Star Lotulelei. Star is a huge body that can stop the run and rush the passer. No doubt he will use and abuse Cyrus Hobbi if Holmes is a no go. You better hope for the best Trojan fans.
On defense USC should be able to really get after the Utah QB John Hayes because their offensive line is worse than USC’s. The Utes are REALLY thin and inexperienced on the edges of their O-Line. This isn’t good because DE Morgan Breslin has been playing in full on beast mode this year. He will eat the Utah tackles for dinner and crap out sacks on John Hayes’ chest. The way to beat the USC pass rush will be to run the ball right up the middle of their defense. Remember what Stanford and Syracuse did with that strategy? The Utah O-Line is strongest at the Center and Guard positions and they also have John White IV running the rock. I think they’re going to have success running against this USC defense.
Lane Kiffin has been getting a lot of hype, good and bad, but his night game record is sucky. Did you know that as the USC head coach he is only 12-7 in night games? Did you also know that super hunky Kyle Whittingham is 6-1 coming off of a bye week? I think Kiffin is a pretty good coach but his offensive is always either too predictable or too flashy. He needs to take what opposing defenses give him and make the adjustments at halftime. On the other hand Kyle Whittingham is a damn good game planner and he can make adjustments on the fly. Just look at what he’s done with limited talent in a tough ass division and out of conference schedule. I’ll give the nod the Whittingham and it’s not just because he has that sexy crew cut.
The game starts at 6:00 PM and I think it’s supposed to be on ESPN. If I were you I’d go to Yahoo! or something to double check the listing. The other weekend Rock was pissed because the Cal vs. USC game was on Pac-12 Network and Fios still doesn’t have the channel. Don’t get all bitter like Rock, just go to a kick ass sports bar and hit on the bartenders/servers because we love it when drunk guys hit on us. Later ‘baters!
Lina S. is Rock Mayock’s Pac-12 Research Assistant. She as unfiltered as Newports and she loves both 1990’s grunge music and the 49ers. In between smoke breaks and Nirvana acoustical jam sessions she breaks down Pac-12 teams like it’s nobody’s business. The only thing meaner than her gridiron analysis is her right hook, so don’t try anything funny. You can reach Lina by e-mailing her at email@example.com.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanches/AP