After such an emotional victory in Knoxville last Saturday, BYU fans were probably hoping for an easy victory this week to kind of calm things down. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. BYU welcomes one of their toughest opponents of the season to Provo on a nationally televised game. The USC Trojans come into town after a second half beat-down of then ranked Stanford, earning the #24 ranking themselves. We spoke with Conquest Chronicles to prepare ourselves for Saturday’s tough match-up.
How does the performance in the first two games reflect the expectations going into the season?
I felt as if USC was night and day in their first two games. The performance of Kedon Slovis and the offense clicking was enough to calm the masses down, especially when USC gained complete control of the Stanford game. Some are more skeptical due to the nature of who the Trojans play the next few weeks, but I would say expectations are a little better after Stanford.....for now.
JT Daniels suffered a torn ACL in week one. Then Kedon Slovis comes in as a true freshman and performs magnificently against Stanford. What was the most surprising aspect of his play? Did you know he would be that good right out of high school?
To be honest, during the Spring I felt he’d done enough to be the No. 2 or No. 3. One of the more surprising aspects of his play is his poise. He looked calm out there and as if he was ready to go. Against Fresno State the pick didn’t rattle him one bit as he just kept playing. I didn’t expect this coming out of high school one bit.
Do you expect Slovis to have any drop-off in production in his first start on the road? How will the Trojan’s offense game plan change to help him out in Provo?
I think Slovis will have a drop off. It’s his first road game against a tough BYU team in a hostile environment. If anything, he’ll struggle this game as he is indeed a freshman. The offense will simulate what the team did against Stanford. Let Slovis throw and get the ball into his play-makers hands. USC has weapons around and to gain the confidence of a freshman, they have to allow him to just play.
USC has a ton of dynamic athletes on offense both at WR and RB. Who is the biggest game-breaker threat on offense and why?
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has received a ton of hype and for good reason. He’ll make defenders miss in the secondary and has dynamic speed at receiver. It’s hard to pick one but if any one then right now it has to be him.
What position group on USC’s defense is the strongest? How will they be used to attack BYU’s offense?
The Trojans defensive line. This group can stop the run up the middle and can get to the quarterback. It’ll be very important with the escape ability of Zach Wilson. I think the line will tell the story here.
Is there a weak spot on defense for the Trojans? If so, how could BYU attack that to give themselves a chance in the game?
Right now the linebackers have not performed to expectations the last two games. They’ve missed tackles or been inconsistent in gap play. BYU’s run game can exploit the Trojans sideline to sideline or up the middle if they can get a hole.
How do you predict this game playing out, and what is your prediction for a final score?
I think this game will indeed be close. It could be an upset given the conditions that are at hand. I believe USC’s offense will be too much for the BYU defense, but the offense will take advantage of USC’s youth on defense to make this a game. I have USC coming out of Provo with the win.
USC 28, BYU 17