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All gas and no brakes? Three things to watch for in USC vs. Fresno State

USC players take the field before their win over Stanford on Sept. 10. The Trojans look to improve to 3-0 on the season Saturday against Fresno State at the Coliseum. (Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

It doesn’t take a math whiz to know USC’s rate of turnovers forced is not sustainable. With four takeaways in each of its first two games — and zero turnovers lost — USC’s turnover margin sits atop all of college football. No team in recent history has kept up a plus-two pace in turnover margin, let alone plus-four.

Regression is coming. But for now, Alex Grinch isn’t about to let math get in the way of the mentality he’s trying to instill.

“The messaging is 100% we control it 100% of the time, and we don’t let truth get in the way,” the USC defensive coordinator said with a grin.

So Grinch really thinks USC can maintain this breakneck pace?

“Tell me why we can’t,” Grinch said. “You have to think that way. You’re not a passive member of the game of football. You’re an active member. We choose to have that approach that it’s controllable, and we have to go get them.”

Here are three things to watch for when USC plays host to Fresno State at the Coliseum on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PDT (Fox, Fox Sports app):

Run for cover

USC coach Lincoln Riley, left, talks with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch during practice in March. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

A more reliable method for USC to get more stops? Start with fortifying the run defense, which ranks 106th in the nation in yards allowed through two weeks.

The Trojans gave up 221 yards last Saturday to a Stanford offense that ranked in the bottom five in college football in yards rushing last season. Grinch, needless to say, wasn’t pleased with the effort, which he called “unacceptable.”

“We can’t be in a position where…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/gas-no-brakes-three-things-113039872.html?src=rss

Author : LA Times

Publish date : 2022-09-16 11:30:39

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