I like Cody Kessler. I can’t put a finger on exactly why, just that he has something. Last season, Kessler was in a battle with Max Wittek to see who would QB the USC Trojans. Kessler eventually won out, but it was a struggle early on. USC was looking pretty bad.
Cody Kessler won’t be making any All Conference or any All American list. He probably won’t even be All City of Los Angeles with Brett Hundley around, but the kid can play and he makes those around him better.
Kessler just has a ‘feel’ for the game and avoiding the rush
All American candidate Nelson Agholer had a Cody Kessler pass hit him right in the face but he kept his focus and came down with it much in the style of former Trojan and Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steeler QB Lynn Swann. Agholer is another one of those fantastic Florida players hailing from Tampa.
Freshman Ju Ju Smith was a 5 star recruit, but he supposedly ran a 4.65 40 so I had my doubts about him. Apparently, when he puts on the pads he’s a lot faster because he showed excellent speed and quickness plus showed some good hands. Ju Ju made play after play after play and showed clearly that he will be one of the next big stars out of USC.
The Trojan freshman class is excellent already as not only Ju Ju played a lot, but also Adoree Jackson who was supposed to be a Cornerback coming in but played at WR and had 3 catches and a TD. Jackson is supposedly going to go offense, defense and special teams for a while. I am not ready to say that Adoree Jackson is another Neon Deion Sanders but he’s a talent on either side of the ball and proved it on Saturday in his first game.
Also, 2 true freshmen Offensive Linemen started for the Trojans, Damien Mama at Right Guard and Toa Lobendahn at Left Guard. They were joined at times by other true freshman Viane Talamaivao at Center.
Another true freshman on offense needing a good watching is Tight End Bryce Dixon from Oxnard. He proved to be a good blocker on Saturday and he had a 22 yard TD reception from Kessler. He’s a truly gifted athlete.
The Trojans and their youth ran out to a 24-0 over Fresno State. Then, went on to crush the Fresno State Bulldogs 52- 13.
Cody Kessler threw for 394 yards on 25/37 and 4 TDs. Kessler also ran for 28 yards and another TD.
Buck Allen at Tailback run for 133 yards on 22 carries and had a TD.
Nelson Agholer at WR had 5 catches for 57 yards and 2 TDs but was out shined by electric freshman Ju Ju Smith a little bit.
I believe the Trojans also have the best Fullback in the country in Soma Vainuku who is up to 270 pounds on his 6 foot frame now. He still runs like a deer. Vainuku rushed for 24 yards on 2 carries and a TD.
A lot of people were up in arms or laughing at the Trojans for hiring Steve Sarkisian. I have a question for any of them. Are you insane? Did you see what the Washington Huskies were like when Sarkisian took over? Did you see what they were like when he left? He did a fantastic job up in Seattle and he has already brought in some incredible talent at USC and this team won’t win the Pac 12, more than likely, but they will be very competitive.
Steve Sarkisian is a Pete Carroll disciple and Pete Carroll is the man. The Trojans are loaded, but really young. The Pac 12 conference is a lot better than it was 10 years ago when Carroll was on the sidelines with the emergence of Stanford up North, and the continued presence of the Oregon Ducks.
Leonard Williams Defensive end for the Trojans is the Big Cat. He has hands as large as alley cats. This guy is a monster from Daytona Beach, Florida. I keep writing about these Florida kids and they are talented. Leonard Williams is as good as anyone in the country not named Robert Nkemdiche. The Big Cat was second on the team in tackles on Saturday and had 2 passes batted down and even came up with an interception that he returned 10 yards. The Big Cat had no sacks on Saturday, but they will come and he will be a top pick in next year’s NFL draft.
I wrote a post about the Trojan LBs not too far back and wrote about Scott Starr who is competing for a spot at OLB and he has legally changed his name to Scott Felix. Starr was his mother’s name and Felix was his father’s. He’s young, but still has that Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews kind of feel about him. He finished the night with 3 tackles.
The top tackler for the opening game on Saturday was returning ILB and All American candidate Hayes Pullard with 8 total.
Back East, they don’t have any respect for Fresno State, but they respect East Carolina or a Southern Miss on their good years. Fresno has had some talent over the years and do again this season.
Derron Smith for Fresno State brings the wood and is an All American candidate at safety. Smith has 14 interceptions in his career and should take his talents to the NFL next season.