By Adam Bushell
Nearing the end of the preseason, the skills and strategies implemented by new Head Coach Loa Milford are beginning to fall into place. The team travelled to Cal State University Northridge this past weekend to gauge this progress.
Off the kickoff, USC was sluggish and slow to set the tempo of the game as was the mission statement established beforehand. Within ten minutes the Trojans had conceded an unconverted try to put the team down by five. Shaken up by the unexpected first few passages of play, USC shifted up a gear and was able to level the score after a more promising passage of play. USC’s second score came from a line break through a porous CSUN defense and a last minute offload to Carl Acquire meters from the line to put the score at 12-5 before the half. The second half saw both teams enter a grid lock of possession for the majority of the half, each teams only getting one more score a piece. USC become evermore nervous as CSUN closed in on Trojan territory with only one try between the two teams, but USC’s defense held off the Matadors. The score at the final whistle was 19-12.
The Trojans would have liked to have created a bigger deficit, particularly in the second half, so there is still more work to be done late on into the preseason. However, a win will be accepted graciously and the gain of momentum will be important going into the Trojan’s last preseason game against UCLA on December 5th.