Which Players Need to Step Up For USC vs. Washington?


Sep 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow (95) tackles Arkansas Red Wolves quarterback Fredi Knighten (9) at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a week of preparation, players on both sides of the USC vs. Washington match up with be rested and rejuvenated.

RELATED: 5 Things USC Must Do to Beat Washington

Who among the Trojan ranks needs to step up for USC against the Huskies on Thursday night?

Here’s what the Reign of Troy staff had to say:

Michael Castillo, Managing Editor

With Claude Pelon likely out and Antwaun Woods fresh off a re-aggravating of his pectoral injury, now is as good of a time as any for Kenny Bigelow to make his presence known.

He was one of the Trojans’ best defensive players against Arkansas State and kind of vanished before showing out against Arizona State in his brief time on the field.

If he gets a chance to be a major contributor at any of the three positions on the defensive line, he could have a significant impact. And he’ll need to be, given how thin the Trojans’ defensive line is in terms to experience.

Alicia de Artola, Editor

Zach Banner has such a high ceiling, it has been frustrating watching his play continue to be defined by inconsistency. The USC rushing attack when focused behind a dominant Banner has been absolutely unstoppable.

The Washington defensive front is a solid unit. The fronts of Notre Dame and Utah are even more formidable, so no is as good a time as any for Banner and company to find their groove.

Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans offensive tackle Zach Banner (73) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

USC’s running backs are too talented to take a back seat, it’s time to get this “run-first” offense looking like one. Banner is key to that.

Demetrie Edwards, Staff Writer

This is a two-part answer as I will be looking at both Iman Marshall and Adoree`Jackson, two supremely-gifted talents whose play subtly feeds off the other.

As Marshall becomes more familiar with not only his role, but playing within the system, the game will continue to slow down for him giving the Trojans the ability to dominate offensively and defensively. Strategically utilizing Jackson, the most dynamic player in college football as the weapon he most certainly is, will come down to how well Marshall performs.

Finding the correct balance has yet to be determined, as the Trojan coaching staff blends their ideas for the sake of one common goal.

Max Meyer, Staff Writer

Can USC’s pass rush count as a player?

Seriously, everyone outside of Su’a Cravens needs to step up generating pressure on the quarterback.

Washington’s offense averages seven negative plays from scrimmage per game, which is 105th in the nation. The Huskies have a true freshman starting at quarterback in Jake Browning. Washington also has three freshmen and one sophomore starting at offensive line.

If there was ever a matchup for USC’s outside linebackers to take advantage of, this one ranks very high on the list.

And I won’t exclude the defensive line either. Even with Claude Pelon likely out, this is another unit that needs to step up for USC to have any chance of having a successful season. T

here was glimpses of promise regarding quarterback pressure last game against Arizona State, and I expect defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox to continue this game by calling blitzes more frequently.

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