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September 17, 2010
Trojans ready to march into Minnesota
College football fans expecting the USC Trojans to be frustrated by their two performances to date are in for a huge disappointment.
The Trojans have a quiet confidence that hasn't been seen since before the sanctions hit home.
Despite the lackluster performances of the defense against Hawaii and the offense against Virginia, the team is confident that fans will see a complete performance on Saturday when the Trojans meet the Minnesota Golden Gophers in TCF Bank Stadium.
The defense is especially eager to hit the field and show the nation they're better than their performance in Hawaii. Senior captain cornerback Shareece Wright was all smiles as he boarded the team bus Thursday. "I'm excited to be heading over," declared Wright. "It feels good. This is what we wait for the whole week."
When asked what the defense needs to improve on, Wright's demeanor turned serious and he didn't hesitate to highlight the lack of turnovers. "We're focused on getting that ball back, getting that ball out, something we haven't done as much as we've wanted to."
The Trojans have forced only one turnover this year, a timely interception in the red-zone against Virginia by T.J. McDonald, and they are not happy about it at all. Frustration over turnover ratio was evident in sophomore linebacker Devon Kennard's face, when asked if the defense was going to generate any turnovers this weekend. "That's the plan," he said. "We should be making a lot of big plays."
Sophomore quarterback and captain Matt Barkley sees no cause for alarm in either unit's performance.
"I liked the effort and the energy we were playing with", he said. "Execution is the thing we have to work on." When asked what fans can expect from the Trojans on offense, Barkley simply stated, "We've shown we're capable of being an explosive offense."
Dynamic senior wideout Ronald Johnson echoed his quarterback's sentiments. "We're going to go out and have fun and it'll be a lot different from last weekend," he said before getting on the team bus Thursday.
When asked what can be expected from himself and Matt Barkley this weekend, Johnson shied away from predictions, simply stating, "I'll just let you guys see it".
Rojo's best friend on the team, sophomore backup quarterback John Manoogian also didn't offer up any predictions, but he was a little bit less diplomatic. "Be ready to watch", Manoogian said. "Be ready for a show."
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more on the Trojans taking on Minnesota.