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Opponent Special Teams Preview: USC Trojans

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The Kick-Away-from-Adoree’ edition

USC v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Kick the football to Adoree’ Jackson and watch him do this:

Or this:

Saturday should feature both teams pooch-kicking on kickoffs since touchbacks at Husky Stadium in November are tough to make happen. In the punting game, Tristan Vizcaino will need to steer his horrific-looking rugby kicks in a way that they dribble and roll in a direction other than toward #2 in white.

The Huskies have faced a number of excellent kickers this season, but USC is pretty average in the kicking game. PK Matt Boermeester has made only two-thirds of his field goal attempts (although he is an impressive 6-8 from 40-49 yards), and punter Chris Tilbey averages only 38.4 yards per punt.

Depth Chart:

For some detail on the USC special teams, I asked Nick Dempsey of Conquest Chronicles to give us some insight:

USC special teams coach John Baxter is one of the most innovative special teams coaches in the business, Clay Helton has referred to him as an “evil scientist”. They have been excellent on kick coverage and special teams play has generally been a strength for the Trojans. Opposing teams have almost entirely abandoned kicking to Adoree’ Jackson and for great reason. As a result Baxter has switched up his return alignments and even disguised some looks when returning kicks as well rotating in guys like Michael Pittman Jr. who can make plays when everyone is focused on Adoree’.