Trojans confident as Saturday approaches

first_imgThe USC football team continued to gear up for its conference matchup against the Oregon State Beavers at practice on Wednesday. After a long bye week, the team is eager to get on the field and make a statement through its passion and energy.New atmosphere · Freshman two-way standout Adoree’ Jackson will be playing his first night game at the Coliseum this Saturday. Jackson has racked up two tackles on defense and four catches on offense so far this year. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanPreach, Coach!Execution was a point of emphasis at practice, as was moving on from the loss against Boston College. The players practiced with a lot of spirit, and that attitude was a direct result of the coaching staff and their efforts on the field.“I was really encouraged by our coaching staff’s ability to keep an edge,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I thought it was evident today, the attention to details on the little things. I think the players felt that today because that’s what we’ve been preaching since the locker room at Boston College.”Sarkisian was not worried about his defense’s confidence following a lackluster performance on the East Coast, and he emphasized the experience and resolve of the players on his team.“We’ve got a lot of players on that side of the ball that have played a lot of football and have played really good football at a high level,” Sarkisian said. “I think if anything their pride’s been hurt, and that’s not always necessarily a bad thing.”The first-year coach knows that any game following a loss is a huge test for a team, especially a matchup against a high-flying offense such as the Beavers. While he did address the challenge that the Beavers and their offense present, Sarkisian also seemed confident that his team will make the right plays and be ready come game time on Saturday.“Although we’re a team that’s been through a lot, they have a unique ability to keep their spirits high, and they work extremely hard,” Sarkisian said. “I think they’re a team that is chomping at the bit to get back out on the field and not keep talking about it, but actually do something about it, which is a great thing.”Dynamic DuoOregon State is led by NFL quarterback prospect Sean Mannion, a fact that has prompted prognosticators to focus on the Trojans’ secondary and how the unit will respond to a pass-heavy offense. Much of the defensive load will be placed on two young, athletic Trojans who seem ready and excited to take on the challenge: sophomore safety Su’a Cravens and freshman cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.“[Mannion] is a great quarterback. He can sling that thing,” Cravens said. “I’ve seen a play on film where he threw the ball about 70 yards down the field.”The strength and experience of the senior gunslinger has not seemed to faze the Trojans’ defensive star, who sat out last year’s matchup against the Beavers. Cravens also said that he is focused on fixing the mistakes that were made against Boston College.Cravens praised Jackson, saying that the freshman is improving on a week-to-week basis. Jackson is a player that will be vital to the success of the team on both offense and defense, even if he does not get the nod as starter.“It doesn’t matter to me if I start or not at this point because if I go in there, I know my job, I know my role and I will be used to my best ability,” Jackson said. “I’m just looking forward to getting out there and doing better than my last game.”Saturday Night LightsSaturday’s kickoff is not until 7:30 p.m. PST, and players are excited to play under the lights at home for the first time this season.“It’s a game I’m looking forward to because it’s a night game, and we have to bounce back,” Jackson said. “We still have that chip on our shoulder because people don’t think we have it.”While Jackson is understandably excited to play his first-ever night home game, it appears as if the appeal of the illuminated Coliseum never wears off.“The Coliseum is different at night. I feel like there’s a different type of atmosphere,” Cravens said. “We haven’t played at the Coliseum at night yet, so it’s going to be fun.”last_img read more

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