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USC's Young Talents May Contribute More Against Notre Dame

The Trojans' defense continues to search for answers after a tough loss to Utah at home.

As USC begins preparations for long-time rival Notre Dame, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando remains open to making some changes on the defensive front. 

Last week the Trojans' struggled on defense, allowing Utah quarterback Cam Rising to throw for 306 yards and score three touchdowns. The Utes scored 42 points total in the Coliseum, and served Southern California their first home loss in over 100 years. 

USA TODAY

USA TODAY

Orlando told reporters on Wednesday, that he is looking for USC's emerging talents to play a bigger role this season. However, that will be all dependent on how they practice. 

"A guy like Raesjon [Davis], a guy like Jaylin [Smith], those type of guys ... this will be their 11th week of being in the system playing with us, and do they need more opportunities? This is the time to do it," said Orlando. 

"We've already explained to them, 'Hey, take this week.' They're going to go out there, we're gonna have a 'young guy' scrimmage tomorrow, full-padded to be able to evaluate those guys. And if they're deserving to play, and they're better than the other guys, they're going to play. So yeah, that's something that we talked about right after the [Utah] game was giving those guys a little bit more opportunities."

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The team conducted a 'young guy' scrimmage on Thursday, as the coaching staff continues to evaluate the progressions of each player, before heading to South Bend. Orlando is looking for 'fearless' players who bring 'physicality'.

"We look for somebody that's going to play really fearless confident, extreme effort and physicality," Orlando explained. "We talked about letting the younger defensive backs go out there and just let them go. Nobody's telling them what to do, going out there and playing to see if they're ready to go out there and contribute. I think that's probably the biggest thing. Are you gonna see a guy go from, you know, 10 plays to 70 plays? I don't think so. But you will see a guy that goes 10 plays to then go 35 plays? Absolutely, if that's what's necessary to get some of the changes done that we need to get changed."

The USC Trojans take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, October 23 at 4:30 p.m. PT.

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