USC football vs. Arizona: Four things to watch for Saturday

USC Trojans defenseman Nick Figueroa watches a game during a win against Rice on September 3rd.

USC Trojans defenseman Nick Figueroa watches a game during a win against Rice on September 3rd.

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For the first six weeks of the season, USC led the nation in sacks and seemed overwhelmed with their passing rush. But Alex Grinch has made it clear he’s still not enthusiastic about production at Rush Linebacker, a crucial cog in his plan.

“We need more at this point,” Grinch said this week.

Recently, redshirt senior Nick Figueroa has taken on the role. After recording three sacks in the previous two games, Figueroa played a season-high 65 snaps against Utah.

After that, you can no longer speak of depth. Solomon Byrd’s replays have shrunk in the last two games. Korey Foreman missed several practice sessions this week with nagging injuries. A bigger role for Solomon Tuliaupupu may be one of USC’s only other options at Rush Linebacker.

“We expect the guys to play in the backfield and not just hold the point,” Grinch said. “If we wanted a guy to sit on the line of scrimmage, we would recruit a 355-pound guy, put him on the ledge and stand there and face blocks. Our MO was to have guys who are athletes, allow them to be athletes and chase the quarterback. We need more of that.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/story/2022-10-28/usc-football-arizona-preview-caleb-williams USC football vs. Arizona: Four things to watch for Saturday

Emma Bowman

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