USC football vs. Arizona: Four things to watch for Saturday > Dogecointool

USC football vs. Arizona: Four things to watch for Saturday

USC Trojans defensive lineman Nick Figueroa follows a play during a win over Rice on Sept. 3.

USC Trojans defensive lineman Nick Figueroa follows a play during a win over Rice on Sept. 3.

(Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Through the first six weeks of the season, USC led the nation in sacks and appeared to be overachieving with its pass rush. But Alex Grinch has been clear that he still isn’t thrilled with the production at rush linebacker, a crucial cog in his scheme.

“We need more at that spot,” Grinch said this week.

Recently, redshirt senior Nick Figueroa has stepped up in the role. After tallying three sacks in the two previous games, Figueroa played a season-high 65 snaps against Utah.

There’s not much depth to speak of after that. Solomon Byrd’s reps have dwindled during the last two games. Korey Foreman missed some practice because of nagging injuries this week. A bigger role for Solomon Tuliaupupu may be one of USC’s only other options at rush linebacker.

“We expect guys to be in the backfield, not just hold point,” Grinch said. “If we wanted a guy sitting on the line of scrimmage, we’d recruit a 355-pound guy, sit him on the edge and stand there and take on blocks. Our M.O. has been to have guys that are athletes, allow them to be athletes and go hunt the quarterback. That’s something we need more of.”

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