Coach Clancy Pendergast is a quiet hard working defensive coordinator. He works relentlessly and is very hard on himself and his staff when it comes to earning trust and respect. It’s very hard to get minutes on his teams but when you do and when you play you play lights out. The Trojans defense had 16 plays where they stopped Colorado for losses. One blown play in the first half but other than that this defensive team was flying to the ball. Not one but three and four and sometimes five players in pursuit. This on a night when Michael Pittman, Jr also broke out. It was fun to watch the Trojan Defense play like these kids can play. The behaved in a way that Utah is going to have to really study what just happened. Couldn’t come at a better time as everything is on the line now with Utah.
Palaie Gaoteote IV
There is a tradition at USC that the #55 is reserved for only the best. It is a number that symbolizes greatness. Not perceived but earned. The number has been elusive and we may be seeing something very special in Palaie Gaoteote IV. The old cliche, the “IT” factor is alive and well with Palaie. He is skilled and smart. He has that ferocious and explosive first move that no one want in their line of sight when you have the ball in your hands. This young man may be the next #55 and in my humble opinion will wear that distinction with great pride and prove it on the field of play and Lead those who follow him and his path to USC hallowed tradition of the middle linebacker position. You cannot help but be excited after seeing him play this year. Last night, with senior captain, Cam Smith, out due to a hamstring the defense didn’t lose a step. It looked lights out in fact with a vicious attack and pursuit of the ball.
In pursuit of excellence there has to be a theme. As most great teams in the past have achieved their image on defense this team is poised to do just that. If only we could bottle this up in Fall Camp and start the season with what we saw last night against a suspect 5-0 team is yet to be seen. Can we dream? Imagine what that record could be if the pace we saw last night and that pursuit that reminded us of many of USC’s great defensive teams. Are they an elite defensive unit? Of course not. They take to long to develop each year but boy can they seemingly turn it on come October.
Let’s buckle up and get ready for the eventual showdown with Utah!