Clay Matthews will start against Oregon. Either at defensive end in place of Everson Griffen, or at strongside linebacker, if Brian Cushing needs to move to middle linebacker to replace Rey Maualuga.
Matthews is making too many plays for the coaches to ignore him.
Chris Galippo will start at middle linebacker if Maualuga cannot play and he performs well this week in practice. Maualuga’s MRI revealed a sprain but he said he is day-to-day right now.
Pete Carroll said the Oregon State game broke down on the edges.
“Everson (Griffen) struggled at times. Clay (Matthews) was pretty good. He needs to play more.”
He said the blowouts over Virginia and Ohio State did not prepare the defense to stop the run.
“We had no regular runs in those games because those teams fell behind so early,” Carroll said. “We might have been rusty.”
An NFL assistant coach called me to offer his opinions after watching the USC-Oregon State game.
“USC does some unusual things. They have their outside linebacker line up inside the No. 3 receiver, not outside like you are supposed to, which means you can get outflanked by the receiver
“It’s almost like they’re saying, we’re better than you and we’ll rely on our athletic ability.
“They also align the free safety right in the middle of the field, so the quarterback knows if they are in zone or man-to-man coverage. And they can’t have an 8-man box with their formation, only a 7-man, if they need to stop the run.
“It’s like they’re saying, `Our athletes are just better than you.’ ”