USC vs. Utah Report Card: Grading the Trojan Defense


Vegas may have correctly predicted the outcome of USC vs. Utah, but few could have predicted the more impressive defense on the night would be the Trojan’s.

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Here’s how each defensive unit graded out against the Utes:

B. There still is not enough pressure being generated by the defensive line as a whole, but Delvon Simmons was much more lively than usual with two sacks and a pass break up, which was almost an interception. Greg Townsend Jr. was also a more noticeable figure as the defensive line played a key role in keeping Devontae Booker and the Ute rushing attack at bay. In fact, Booker’s 62 yards were his lowest total of the season and the third lowest of his career. The line certainly gets credit for that.. Standout. Delvon Simmons. DEFENSIVE LINE

A+. Cameron’s Smith’s coming out party could not have come at a better time for the Trojans. Calling the true freshman USC’s MVP on the night would be a huge understatement. With two game-changing interceptions in the second quarter, one of which he returned for a touchdown, Smith was the catalyst for the Trojans just when things looked their bleakest. He finished with a team-best nine tackles and a hattrick of interceptions. Of course he wasn’t the only linebacker to put in a solid outing. Su’a Cravens was his normal self with a sack, two tackles for loss, a deflection and an interception.. Standout. Cameron Smith. LINEBACKER

B. Britain Covey was the danger man in the Utah receiving corps and he made it known on two long touchdown receptions from 30 yards out to start the game and from 66 yards near the end. Aside from Covey, the Trojan secondary kept things simple and limited Travis Wilson’s options. Iman Marshall picked up a pair of pass interference penalties, though both could be contested. Chris Hawkins did well to contain Utah from taking advantage of the outside on several occasions.. Standout. Chris Hawkins. SECONDARY

B. Entering the game, the defense’s focus was to limit Booker on the ground and force Travis Wilson to beat the Trojans in the air. Justin Wilcox’s defense executed that gameplan well. Booker was a non-factor and Wilson crumpled under the pressure, throwing four interceptions, with more than a few bad throws just avoiding the same fate.. Standout. Justin Wilcox. COACHING

What say you Trojan fans? Vote in the poll and let us know how you feel about the defensive performance during USC vs. Utah in the comments below.

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