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After suffering a devastating loss at home, USC needs to get back on track to its winning ways. Luckily, the Trojans are returning to the Coliseum for the second consecutive week and play host to visiting Boston College. Here’s what the Trojans need to do in order to claim a win:
Ground ControlAfter impressive performances against Hawaii and Washington State, the USC defense needs to continue its momentum into week three. USC needs to control the Boston College running game, a task that will not be too difficult as the Trojans lead the country in sacks and rushing defense. Outside linebackers Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin will need to continue their success from the first two games of the season. Considering the lack of depth at both wide receiver and running back for Boston College, the defense will be facing a more balanced offense than in previous weeks. With that being said, linebacker Dion Bailey and the Trojan backfield will need to be ready. Bailey has recorded two of the Trojans’ six interceptions this season.
Build Kessler’s ConfidenceSaturday’s contest against Boston College will be the first official start for quarterback Cody Kessler. As evident in the previous games, Kessler can lose his confidence quickly. Boston College’s defense is ranked 10th in the nation in sacks and is tied at 3rd with USC for forced turnovers. It will be crucial for the offensive line to protect Kessler. If the big boys cannot execute, there will be no offensive production for the Trojans. Head coach Lane Kiffin needs to cater the game plan to Kessler’s strengths. An offense scheme of roll outs, play action, and a solid running game will help build Kessler’s confidence.
Make AdjustmentsIn the last five games, USC has failed to score an offensive point in the third quarter. The Trojans need to be more flexible with their game plan. In most recent performances, USC comes out after halftime over-confident and becomes lax in technique. Ultimately, the Trojans beat themselves rather than the talent of their opponent doing so. Looking back at previous games, the USC offensive play calling does not vary as well. Head coach Lane Kiffin sticks to the same schemes, making for third quarter woes for Trojans. USC will need be become more flexible with play calling and in making those adjustments in order to beat Boston College.