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Satisfying Win But October Challenges Await

by Steve Bisheff

Funny how a sense of urgency can change things. And maybe change people, too.

Give Steve Sarkisian and Justin Wilcox some credit. USC’s head coach and defensive coordinator watched Stanford manhandle the Trojans’ defense a week ago and realized, as the heat and the criticism mounted, that both they and the players had to kick it up a notch.

The result was a remarkable reversal of form against Arizona State on Saturday night. Granted, the Sun Devils aren’t nearly as physical as those bullies from up north and, for much of the warm evening, Todd Graham’s team pretty much self-destructed in Tempe.

But USC’s defense had a lot to do with that 42-14 bludgeoning. It was more aggressive, more energized and, yes, more passionate. Su’a Cravens, Delvon Simmons and Co. were making plays all over the field. They collected sacks, made interceptions, recovered fumbles and generally performed at a level heretofore unseen in the brief Sarkisian era.

Click here to read the full story at the ESPN USC blog



Garry Paskwietz
Author
Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.


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