Monday, September 23, 2013
Player of the week: Pac-12
By Kevin Gemmell
USC’s defense probably had the toughest nonconference draw last week -- having to defend Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who entered the game tied for the national lead with 12 touchdown passes while completing 67 percent of his throws.
But the Trojans' defense, behind hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker Morgan Breslin, kept a Utah State offense that was averaging 50 points per game in check most of the afternoon, limiting it to just 14 points and 285 yards of total offense.
Breslin recorded two sacks, three tackles for a loss and two hits on Keeton, who threw a pair touchdown passes but was just 21 of 39 and held to 179 passing yards. Perhaps more importantly, the Trojans kept him from making an impact with his legs, sacking him four times for minus-15 rushing yards.
Worth noting that USC also got plenty of help from defensive tackle Leonard Williams, who added eight tackles, including three for a loss.
Since sitting out of the season opener against Hawaii game because of injury, Breslin has come on strong, posting four sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss. He ranks seventh nationally in sacks per game and eighth in tackles for a loss. He’s now tied with teammate George Uko for total sacks and he leads the conference in tackles for a loss per game.