If playing against cross-town rival USC isn’t enough motivation, if a potential division title isn’t enough of a dangling carrot, UCLA junior cornerbacks Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price need just peer across the Los Angeles Coliseum field on Saturday at 7 p.m. against USC, and they’ll be jolted into consciousness.
“We’ve got to get up, because if we don’t get up…just look at their stats…,” Hester said.
Hester is referring to the Trojans’ terrific twosome of targets, sophomore Robert Woods and freshman Marquise Lee, a pair of opponents whom the UCLA defensive backs know closely.
At this point, it seems fans across the nation have grown quite familiar with the young wide receivers, whose numbers do indeed drop jaws.
Woods’ 99 receptions for 1,179 yards and 13 touchdowns are among the loftiest numbers in the country, and Lee’s 60 grabs for 919 yards and nine touchdowns, which ranks second in the country.
“I’ve seen Marquise and Robert play since they were in high school, and those guys can play,” Price said. “We have to bring our A-game. It’s challenge, and you get upset because it’s like, ‘Why aren’t you coming to play for us?’ but it’s also an opportunity because it means you’re competing against the best.”
Woods and Lee have been so good, they might just end up highjacking their quarterback’s Heisman candidacy.
As the Matt Barkley for Heisman campaign reaches fever pitch, the predictable backlash has too grown got louder and louder.
Sure, the USC quarterback might have 3,105 yards and 33 touchdowns, but he has two of the best young wide receivers in the country at his disposal.
Hester ends the debate once and for all.
“They make each other,” Hester said. “They’re open, but he’s hitting the passes. Sometimes he throws them open. I was looking at that on film today – being in position and not giving up on a play is going to be key, because you might have a guy covered, but he can throw them open.”