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Three Ways USC Football Can Capitalize on Their Bye Week

A weekend of rest and reflection just might be what the USC Trojans need to finish the 2021 season strong.

Through a rollercoaster of a season, the USC Trojans (3-3) find themselves positioned right at the apex, the bye week, looking ahead to six tough matchups. Interim head coach Donte Williams and his squad can use this break to recuperate and fall back to the roots of USC football.

USA TODAY

USA TODAY

- Three Ways USC Football Can Capitalize on Their Bye Week - 

No. 1 - Hit The Reset Button

Defensive end Nick Figueroa said it best.

“It’s kind of like a clean slate,” he said. “So whatever happens, the past’s the past. You just gotta look forward and improve on our play.”

The Trojans must put their three ugly losses to Stanford, Oregon State, and Utah behind them. This bye week can serve as a reset button for the players and the coaching staff. There must be a mindset shift within the team to come out with a sense of urgency against No. 14 ranked Notre Dame on Oct. 23.

No. 2 - Get Healthy

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USC has dealt with injuries all season long, and among the group is freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart. Dart had surgery to repair a torn meniscus after an electric performance against Washington State. 

He has returned to the practice field, and can use this bye week to continue progressing for Notre Dame. If healthy, he could provide a spark for USC's offense, or at least serve as a valuable QB2 behind Slovis.

Football is an extremely physical game and players often play through nagging injuries. This perfectly-placed bye week gives Donte Williams' team a chance to recover and rest before the second half of the season.

No. 3 - Focus on Discipline

Penalties have been a weakness this season. Donte Williams’ group ranks seventh in the country with 80.7 yards on an average of 8.2 penalties per game. Penalties can decimate an offensive drive, pushing USC back down the field. Extra practice time and a weekend for reflection may help the Trojans come out sharper against Notre Dame.

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