September 17

Trojans use Arizona State loss as motivation

first_imgThe Trojans are moving on from their latest defeat and have shifted their focus toward Saturday’s matchup with the undefeated Arizona Wildcats. A win against the Pac-12 foe would earn the team sole possession of first place in the south division.Seymour wins · Junior defensive back Kevon Seymour and the Trojan defense are aiming to put a last-second lapse against ASU behind them. Seymour has 18 total tackles this season, second on the team at his position. – Benjamin Dunn | Daily Trojan24-Hour Rule“After those 24 hours, get over it and move on,” sophomore linebacker Su’a Cravens said. “I was over it before the night was over. It is what it is and on to the next team.”Cravens’ mindset was shared among all of the players who are now focused on improving their game in preparation for a formidable opponent. Though Arizona has the capability to explode on offense, the Trojans are approaching the week as they would every week: just another game.“We’re going to remember [the loss] but we’re using it as motivation,” junior cornerback Kevon Seymour said. “You live and you learn.”With a play as devastating as the Hail Mary that beat the Trojans on Saturday, it is easy to see how that could affect their preparation going forward, but most players are using it as motivation.“You have to grow from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” senior linebacker Hayes Pullard said. “It’s something to learn from.”Defending WilcoxThere has been a lot of scrutiny from pundits and Trojan fans aimed toward defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. Though his play-calling ability and game management have been targeted, his players have been quick to defend their coach, saying that it is their responsibility to make an impact on the field.“As players, we just have to go up and make that play,” Seymour said. “It’s not [Wilcox]’s fault. The defense is out there on the field, we have to make it right, it’s not the coaches’ fault.”Pullard is another player who has seen a lot of attention due to his involvement in the last play of the game against Arizona State. He has recognized his mistake and will use it to learn and to get better for the rest of the season.“I just saw the ball in the air, I made a mistake on not just jumping and going after it and getting it like what I’m supposed to be doing,” Pullard said. “Everyone has that play, you just don’t think it out.”Pullard seemed poised and confident when talking about his miscue, and he is focused on continuing to lead the team and bounce back.Finding an identity Due to a few big scoring plays last week, questions have been asked about the team’s defensive identity and many have wondered if defensive lapses will be a common occurrence for the rest of the year. Head coach Steve Sarkisian quickly praised his defensive players, both in their effort and their ability.“It’s unfortunate that the game ended the way it did the other night because we played really good defense against a really good offense for three and a half quarters,” Sarkisian said. “For whatever reason, we give up a 98-yard drive, we give up a 73-yard touchdown pass and then we give up a Hail Mary in three series in a row and that’s where the focus is. But I think we’re doing good things. I think we’re improving and I think we’ll continue to improve.”Sarkisian also provided praise for his defensive coordinator, whom he continues to stand behind amid all of the scrutiny.“I think he’s doing a really good job,” Sarkisian said. “Justin [Wilcox] is a very good coach and we’re lucky to have him.”Sarkisian made sure to mention that he appreciated the effort of his entire team, not just his defense, following a tough loss.“I loved what these guys brought today,” Sarkisian said. “They’re going to be challenged [against Arizona]. But we’re plenty capable.”last_img read more