USC safety Chris Hawkins said today he and UCLA wide receiver Jordan Payton worked this summer at a Southern California real-estate company. So did the pair become friends?
“No. No. I’m not friends,” Hawkins said. “We just, `What’s up?’ I don’t really like UCLA. I’m sure they don’t like us.”
Hawkins said USC linebacker Su’a Cravens also worked at the company, which was through a summer business course.
“He knew who we were and we knew who he was,” Hawkins said.
The USC secondary is coming off a poor showing against Oregon. But here’s the truth: I’ve heard complaints for two seasons about the defense/secondary/coaching. So I asked a Pac-12 coach who faced USC this season for his opinion: “(Adoree Jackson) has a lot of ability but it doesn’t look like he’s been taught a lot of technique. (Iman Marshall) doesn’t seem to run well. Either he doesn’t know where to run or where his help is. He looks like a big-time safety.”
This photo is from the 1969 USC-UCLA game at the Coliseum, best known for a controversial 32-yard TD catch by WR Sam Dickerson that enabled USC to win, 14-12. Was Dickerson inbounds? Anyways, this photo features “Wild Bunch” defensive end Charlie Weaver (No. 84) and all-Pac-8 offensive guard Dennis Alumbaugh (No. 67).
Last year, UCLA dominated the game as its defensive line dominated USC’s young offensive line and made Cody Kessler antsy most of the game. UCLA no longer has Eddie Vanderdoes and USC’s line is older and arguably worse.
“(It will be) a lot easier (in the Coliseum) than at Oregon,” offensive tackle Zach Banner said.
The question this season, among others, is why USC’s offensive line is not better than a year ago. A former USC offensive lineman tells me he believes some players are out of shape and there are too many plays pulling the guards, who are 300-and-some pounds. I’m sure this is one of UCLA’s point of attacks Saturday.