Tag Archives: USC Football

Ninja Sports Pac-12 Football Preview

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Star Lotulelei will terrorize Pac-12 offensive lines this season

With the way things are shaping up, it looks a lot like 2005 in Troy as the Trojans are atop the AP Poll to start the season.  Much like the ’05 squad, the team is loaded with talent from the top of the roster to the bottom.  Resembling the players of the ’05 team are QB Matt Barkley (Matt Leinart), RBs Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd (Reggie Bush and LenDale White), and WRs Robert Woods and Marqis Lee (Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett).  As you see, the possibilities for this USC team are endless.  The defense took a tough blow losing defensive end Devon Kennard to a torn pectoral muscle so look for T.J. McDonald and Hayes Pullard to step up big.

Chip Kelly’s high octane spread offense in Eugene continues to receive praise as they have averaged over 520 yards a game for the past two seasons.  Redshirt Freshman QB Marcus Mariota has received the nod to start week one for the Ducks after an intense seven month battle with sophomore Bryan Bennett.  Though Mariota is young, look for him to step in right away and make an impact taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Thomas had LaMichael James to help him lead the offense, Mariota will have Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to share the load.  If the defense can hold strong for the whole season, USC better not blink because this team of olympic sprinters will blow by them if the Trojans aren’t at the top of their game.

The big question surrounding Stanford: Can they survive without Luck?  Coach David Shaw wasn’t very enthusiastic about naming Josh Nunes the starting quarterback earlier this week.  The offense that once relied on Andrew Luck seems to be focusing towards a run heavy style placing much of the load on running backs Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson.  Stanford’s strength is definitely on the defensive side of the ball led by linebackers Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov.

Washington has great potential this season with an offense run by dual-threat QB Keith Price.  In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Price is the QB who went toe-to-toe with RG3 in the Alamo Bowl last season where the two offenses combined for 123 points.  Though RG3 came out victorious, it was Price that played the better game completing 23 of 27 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns.  Not only did Price throw four touchdowns but he ran for three more, accounting for seven total.  Expect to see “Teeth” (as his teammates call him for his award-winning smile in interviews) in New York within the next two years as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.  The Huskies may not win the conference this season, but they will be highly competitive and could play the spoiler roll for the Pac 12.

The main question posed by The Ninja:  Will this conference play any defense?  Last year’s numbers were quite ugly as half of the Pac 12 ranked 82nd or lower in total defense.

North South
Oregon 8-1 Southern Cal 8-1
Washington 7-2 Arizona State 5-4
Stanford 5-4 Utah 5-4
California 4-5 UCLA 4-5
Oregon State 2-7 Colorado 3-6
Washington State 1-8 Arizona 2-7

Keith Price will lead the Huskies into Oregon on 10/6

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15:  USC @ Stanford

Sept. 27:  Stanford @ Washington

Oct. 6:  Washington @ Oregon

Oct. 13:  USC @ Washington

Nov. 3:  Oregon @ USC

Nov. 17:  USC @ UCLA

Nov. 17:  Stanford @ Oregon

Nov. 24:  Oregon @ Oregon State

Championship:  Oregon vs. Southern Cal

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Pac-12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Robert Woods, USC DE Dion Jordan, ORE K Andre Heidari, USC
WR Marquess Wilson, WSU DE Wes Horton, USC P Jackson Rice ORE
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WASH DT Star Lotulelei, UTAH KR De’Anthony Thomas, ORE
T Matt Summers-Gavin, CAL DT Justin Washington, ARIZ
T David Bakhtiari. CU LB Chase Thomas, STAN
G Carson York, ORE LB Patrick Larimore, ARIZ
G Sam Brenner, UTAH LB Shayne Skov, STAN
C Khaled Homes, USC CB Aaron Hester, UCLA
QB Matt Barkley, USC CB Nickell Robey, USC
RB Stepfan Taylor, STAN S T.J. McDonald, USC
RB Kenjon Barner, ORE S Marquis Flowers, ARIZ

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year: Robert Woods, WR USC

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year: Star Lotulelei, DT UTAH

2012-13 Pac 12 Football Preview

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LSU Offers Middle Schooler? What’s Next?

Youth players wearing college uniforms in little league games

Remember life as a young teenager? Running around the neighborhood, playing tag, and finding excuses to get away from your parents to get loaded up on soda and candy and stay up all night with your friends. The biggest concern in life was whether or not to ask your crush to the movies that Friday night, and if your parents would drop you off around the corner so nobody would see you with those “losers”.

Man, those were the days.

For 14-year-old Dylan Moses those days are long gone, and in fact, may have never come for the youngster. The soon-to-be eighth grader was offered a full athletic scholarship to Louisiana State University by none other than “The Mad Hatter” himself, Les Miles. The middle schooler has yet to play a single down at the high school level (let alone choose the high school he will attend), and Miles seems to think he has the talent to play for the ever-so-prestigious LSU football program. Some reporters even used the term ‘ungodly’ in reference to Moses’ football ability. How could this be when such a young player has so much more developing to do not only mentally, but physically as well?

This isn’t the first time a middle school child has been at the forefront of the Division 1A recruiting scene. Do the names David Sills and Tate Martell ring a bell? Sills, a 15 year old quarterback out of Maryland, was reportedly recruited by major college teams as early as the age of 11 and committed in 2010 at the age of 13 to the University of Southern California to play for Coach Lane Kiffin. The Bloomberg News dubbed him as the ‘greatest arm money could buy’. Now entering his sophomore season, Sills remains committed to the Trojans and looks to add a big year to his already impressive stat line (2,340 yards and 28 touchdowns as a freshman). Tate Martell is a 14 year old quarterback out of San Diego, who just last week accepted a scholarship offer to play for the Washington Huskies as a part of the 2017 recruiting class.

As a fan of the game, as well as the vast evolutions and growth of it, I love these moves. The kids will now endure a whole new type of training as well as never before seen pressure to prepare them for the next level, enabling them the potential to develop into the type of players we may have never experienced in college football.

In the words of the great (strictly referring to his broadcasting career) Lee Corso, “NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!!”

Just what exactly is football doing for the youth of today? If you ask any high school football coach what their mission is, they will tell you they are attempting to prepare young men for life’s journey. Coaches preach and demand hard work, dedication, discipline, trust, and a sense of brotherhood among their players that many people, including myself, feel is a vital part of a man’s maturation process. By offering scholarships to kids at such a young age, coaches are instilling the wrong values into our youth and our communities. Rather than teaching them life’s values and morals, we are simply telling them to be good at what they do and the rest will fall into place. High school football has changed the course of many individual’s lives in a number of ways, and for many was/is an escape from a harsh reality in which they live. It would be a shame to see high school football coaches alienate children who aren’t the most athletic or football savvy due in part to them wanting to play the kid who has been an Alabama commit for five years, or so they could hone a roster full of division 1 athletes. What’s next? Peyton Manning’s next child will come out of the womb with a scholarship in hand?

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