Game of the Week Preview: USC vs. Arizona
In a week that there is no marquee game and given the fact that I have spent quite a bit of time in the SEC and Big Ten lately, I thought I would go against the grain and take a look at the Trojans and the Wildcats.
Stanley Havili 6’1″ 230 FB
Known mainly as a pass catching fullback, Havili is actually a better blocker then given credit for. As I fullback I will be watching to see how explosive his pop is on contact and if he is as effective blocking the run as the pass.
Jurrell Casey 6’1″ 295 DT
Is not seen by most to be in the top tier of the draft eligible DT’s this year but has a good sized frame on him, showing the ability to anchor on contact and demonstrating very good leverage. His main deficiency at this point appears to be his ability to get off the ball and his limited pass rush ability. I will be interested in seeing if he has improved his first step, how his pass rushing ability has developed and his run/pass recognition skills.
Ronald Johnson 6’0″ 190 WR
Very explosive player with a lot of top end speed who is not a strider so he gets up to speed quickly. Showcases good body control and possesses excellent hands. His major drawback is that he has been injured quite frequently and as a result has not developed into a consistent route runner. I will be specifically watching to see how he sets up his routes with his feet and how smooth he is coming in and out of his breaks.
Brooks Reed 6’3″ 255 DE
Smaller defensive end that projects as an outside linebacker in the NFL right now. He exhibits an excellent motor and gets off the snap very quickly. For his size is able to create a good pop on contact and shows the ability to play with leverage. Possesses good speed for the position however his body control and balance limit his ability to threaten the edge and therefore is limited as a pass rusher at this point. I will be looking to see how well he does against the run, stack/shed, and how well he locates the ball. Additionally I want to see if has any pass rush moves or just a speed/bull rush guy.
Adam Grant 6’6″ 325 OT
Possesses a nice frame at 6’6 325, who is more of a run blocker then a pass blocker, demonstrating the ability to anchor, drive his opponents off the ball, and give a good punch at the point of attack. However, he lacks sound footwork on his kickslide and plays unbalanced when pass blocking. Not exceptionally gifted athletically I will be watching his footwork on pass plays and his pad level throughout the game.
Ricky Elmore 6’5” 260 DE
Possesses good size at 6-5, could really be more effective if he was able to put on weight and play more to his strengths. Elmore lacks explosion throughout his game however shows good balance and the ability to leverage. He also showcases good hands and is able to extend his arms creating separation to help keep himself clean. As he is not going offer much or pass rush I will be concentrated on how well he seals the edge if he can produce a push off his pass rush and how well he finds the ball in the run game.
Many people are calling for this to be an upset of the week with the Trojans taking out the Wildcats, however with the Wildcats getting embarrassed last week against Stanford, and with them being at home I just can’t bet against the Cats. This is also nick Foles second game back from injury and he should be much better.