Ian Book vs. USC Secondary
I’m not sure why, but I’m extremely excited to watch Book play under the lights in the Coliseum. It’s the perfect scenario to cap off an incredible season for the junior quarterback. Book has pretty clearly run away with the title of Team MVP this season, arguably being one of the most important players for any team in the country.
Saturday night, Book will lead the offense for the eighth time this season and will be facing an injury-ridden Trojan secondary. While the game plan might lean more on running the ball and controlling the pace of the game, Book will still get is fair share of chances to make plays through the air.
USC has lost two safeties to season-ending injuries, Isaiah Pola-Mao and Talanoa Hufanga and will lose cornerback Greg Johnson to season-ending shoulder surgery. The starters for the USC secondary are mainly seniors with experience under their belt, but because of various injuries this season, freshman and underclassmen have seen the field more than Clay Helton would probably have liked.
Seniors Iman Marshall and Isaiah Langley will get the start and majority of snaps at corner while seniors Ajene Harris and Marvell Tell will anchor the secondary at safety. This is a group that is fast and athletic, but have yet to show that on the stat sheet, racking up a measly three interceptions all season long.
Whether given time in the pocket or extending the play with his legs, Book should have an efficient day vs this secondary and move the ball well. We should see the usual high percentage plays all game long. Slip screens, quick outs, curls, plays that get 6-7 yards and keep the offense ahead of the chains. As long as Book takes care of the ball, the offense will be in good hands.