- Greg Katz, Columnist, WeAreSC.com
LOS ANGELES -- Notes, quotes, and anecdotes from the Coliseum after the Trojans' 35-7 win over Boston College.
USC coach Lane Kiffin
Attitude adjustment: “First off, for two groups today, I’m excited for all our players. It wasn’t a great week. There wasn’t positivity around for obvious reasons. I thought these guys kept working, kept grinding, and just worked extremely hard. And then our fans, too. It wasn’t an easy week on our fans, with how passionate they are and what they had to deal with last week. I’m happy for them to feel good today. We had good Trojan football for the most part today.”
On Cody Kessler’s practices and game performance: “I felt it all week. You never know what’s going to happen in the game. We had a great week of preparation as a team, and Kessler’s preparation paid off.”
Boston College coach Steve Addazio
Regarding the Trojans: “They did a good job of running and throwing and we couldn’t get off the field and it wore down the defense. Then we had a period of time when we were three-and-out. We only touched the ball 21 times in the first half. In the second half, we needed to sustain drives and get field position, but it didn’t happen.”
The prophecy: “I said all week we had to sustain their early shot, the early barrage. They had their backs against the wall. I felt we kind of survived that and got going a little but then we stalled. We had a collective letdown in the third quarter that was severe.”
Kessler comments: “I have a new sense of confidence. I was so relaxed in there. I played my game. On the first play, we were going to go deep, and I just missed it. It was a check play and we almost connected.”
Marqise’s message: Regarding his quarterback’s performance, junior All-America receiver Marqise Lee said, “Cody did an amazing job. The offense today is what I expected the last two games. We still have to eliminate some stuff to get better. Last week (Washington State) we had a lot of mental mistakes.”
The offensive scoring average: The Trojans scored 35 points against Boston College. Prior to the game with the Eagles, the Trojans were averaging 18.5 points per game.
Center of attention: On the offensive backs productive performance (257 yds.), Trojans junior center Marcus Martin said: “It’s just amazing to have three or four backs like we have now. The key to helping our backs is for the line to get off the ball and knock people in the mouth. We said Wednesday that we wanted to get our stuff down.”
First Coliseum touchdown: His thoughts on scoring his first Coliseum touchdown, a 17-yard jaunt, freshman tailback Justin Davis (96 yards) said, “It felt amazing. When I got to the 3-yard line, I told myself I had to get in there.”
By George: Junior defensive tackle George Uko assessed another stellar defensive line performance: “Just like last season, the key is to get to the quarterback. It’s really not the defensive line call; it all has to do with our mindset.”
It’s offensive: Prior to the Boston College game, the Trojans were averaging 278.5 yards per game in total offense. Against the Eagles, the Trojans had 521 total yards on offense.
High emotion: On the state of the Trojans sidelines against Boston College, junior safety Josh Shaw said: “The energy on the sideline was awesome today, firing on all cylinders -- offense, defense, and special teams. It’s great knowing your offense is moving the ball. The best place for a defensive player is to be on the sidelines.”
In a rush: Prior to the Boston College game, the Trojans were averaging 165.5 yards per game rushing. Against the Eagles, the Trojans rushed for 257 net yards.
Three straight: Tailback Tre Madden had his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game (103 yards). Asked about his comfort zone after three games, Madden said, “ It feels better than last week. I am getting more confortable as the season goes on.”
The defensive scoring average: The Trojans defense allowed seven points to Boston College. Prior to the Eagles game, the Trojans were allowing 11.5 points per game.
The blitz: Evaluating his defensive line, junior safety Dion Bailey said, “They just executed the game plan. We did pretty good stopping the run today. We didn’t have to blitz because our front four is like a blitz.”
Seeing through Hayes: Asked about the early excitement when the offense first got the ball, Trojans junior inside linebacker Hayes Pullard said, “Wow, we (the defense) were sitting on the bench and we see the ball high in the air and then heard the crowd roar. We got excited the offense was being aggressive.”
Pass defense: Prior to the Boston College game, the Trojans were allowing 211.5 passing yards per game. Against the Eagles, the Trojans allowed 83 passing yards.
Tackling the issue: The Trojans defense was led by senior safety Demetrius Wright with seven tackles followed by true freshman safety Su’a Cravens with six tackles.
Passing fancy: Prior to the Boston College game, the Trojans were averaging 113.0 passing yards per game. Against the Eagles, the Trojans passed for 264 yards.
The afternoon turnstile: Coliseum attendance for Saturday’s game was 62,006, which was 15,817 less than the home opener against Washington State (77,823).
Getting better: The Trojans were 5 of 10 on third-down conversions.
Getting worse: Prior to the Boston College game, the Trojans were averaging 47.0 penalty yards per game. Against the Eagles, the Trojans were penalized 10 times for 100 yards.
Scouting the talent: NFL scouts in attendance were representatives from the Rams and Dolphins.