USC interim head coach Donte Williams will get his first crack at the head coaching position on the road against Washington State. The Cougars (1-1) are coming off a dominant 44-24 win against Portland State, and will face a Trojans squad, desperately looking for a morale-boosting win.
Three Defensive Players To Watch:
No. 1 - Defensive End - Nick Figueroa
The redshirt senior is a game-time decision ahead of the matchup against Wazzu. An AC sprain limited his minutes against Stanford, who took advantage of the hole in the defense. Figueroa is a difference-maker and a vital part of defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s system — the Trojans need him to be ready come Saturday.
No. 2 - Defensive End - Korey Foreman
Last weekend when the Trojans played Stanford, USC's defense allowed quarterback Tanner McKee to get pretty comfortable in the pocket. He went on to complete 16/23 of his passing attempts.
Korey Foreman could see some extra action if Figueroa can’t play on Saturday; and the freshman could get the opportunity to make the Trojans first sack of the season against WSU.
No. 3 - Safety - Chris Steele
Steele, along with other members of the Trojans secondary, will have to compete at a higher level if they want to interrupt the Cougars’ passing rhythm. Steele and safety Greg Johnson gave up big yardage plays last weekend, and must limit mistakes if they want to find success against Wazzu.
Washington State Cougars
No. 1 - Defensive Lineman - Dallas Hobbs -
The Cougars defensive line has struggled to get to the quarterback this season, managing just two sacks in their first two weeks. The most experienced veteran on the team, Hobbs has to find the seams in the opposing line and get to Slovis before the Trojans quarterback gets into a groove.
No. 2 - Cornerback -Jaylen Watson -
The last time USC met Washington State, Kedon Slovis lit the team on fire with five touchdowns, starting off hot with a 28-0 first quarter. Senior cornerback Jaylen Watson will likely spend a majority of his afternoon matched up with Drake London, and try to contain the speedy wideout as he searches for his first TD of the season.
No. 3 - Linebacker -Justus Rodgers-
Rodgers will look to turn the defense in the right direction after Utah State and Portland State averaged 430.5 yards per game in the Cougars first two games. While Rodgers’ sole interception on the season contributed to the 44-24 smackdown of Portland State, he will have to play a bigger role in stifling USC's potent running attack.
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