Potent offense harkens back to 2005 unit

first_imgUSC had what many pundits consider the best offense in the history of college football in 2005. There were two Heisman Trophy winners in the backfield and a pair of dynamic wide receivers. Two tailbacks ran for more than 1,300 yards apiece. The offensive line was experienced and the offensive attack was as balanced as it was prolific. That team averaged nearly 50 points per game. Even the week before the 2006 BCS national title game, ESPN ran a weeklong series comparing the Trojans’ offensive unit to some of the best in the history of the sport.Man in charge · Senior quarterback Matt Barkley returns to lead an offense that averaged 35.8 points per game in 2011. Barkley threw a conference record 39 touchdowns and completed 69.1 percent of his passes. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanFast forward to 2012, and the expectation for many around Los Angeles is this: USC might have as good an offense, if not better, than what fans saw seven seasons ago.Leading the USC offense will be its aerial assault, and the leader of that charge will be senior quarterback Matt Barkley. Last year, Barkley had one of the best seasons in conference history, throwing for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdown passes against seven interceptions. He set a school single season record for completion percentage at 69.1 percent.Though Barkley’s success is largely because of his own ability, the overall success of the passing game will depend on his receivers: junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marqise Lee. While Lee is at full strength, Woods has a lingering ankle injury that has limited his practice time and forced him to sit out for all of spring practice.Woods set a conference record for catches in 2011 with 111, totaling 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns, being named a first team All-American in the process. Woods’ high school teammate Lee had 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns during his freshman season.But if Woods is not healthy, the situation behind the two Biletnikoff Award candidates is rather murky. With no established third receiver, several young players will be competing for playing time, including sophomore George Farmer and incoming freshman Nelson Agholor.“He’s constantly banged up,” Woods said of Farmer, who was the top receiver recruit in the country coming out of high school.If healthy, though, Woods believes Farmer can play a key role for the Trojans.The other question mark for the passing game is the left tackle position. Gone is All-American Matt Kalil, who was the No. 4 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Taking his place will be sophomore Aundrey Walker, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 300 pounds who is slated to start at left tackle and to protect Barkley’s blind side. He has lost roughly 70 pounds since last season and is preparing himself for the rigors of the left side and of replacing a star.“Everything’s been good,” Walker said. “Practice, the last practice has been great. Just losing the weight, I feel great. I don’t know what it is, but when I was 360 [pounds], it really didn’t work; I was too slow off the ball.”This is no longer a problem, though, and Walker is excited for the possibilities. He is confident that the offense is right on track and sees a lot of potential with the group.“[The] offense is doing pretty good. We got a great group of guys [starting],” Walker said. “[There is] a lot of chemistry throughout the whole team.”The passing game was an obvious strength last season, as the Trojans averaged more than 294 yards per game, good for 15th in the country.For the 2012 Trojans to reach the heights of the 2005 team, however, the running game will have to hold up its end of the deal and must complement the passing game.Last season, the Trojans ran for 162.6 yards per game, which ranked near the middle of the pack in the college football world. Returning is senior tailback Curtis McNeal, who ran for 1,005 yards. Joining him is Penn State transfer Silas Redd.McNeal said he expects this offensive unit to put up some big numbers this season.“It could be really good,” McNeal said. “We just got to go out there everyday and get our game plan that the coaches make for us, and we just got to make plays.”He knows that the running back competition is going to make for a better unit overall.“It’s been good,” McNeal said. “All the running backs, we’re just out here competing, making each other better … and just providing the best running game that we can for the team.”McNeal believes that the work the team put in during the offseason is going to make this edition of the Trojans better than the one fans saw last year, perhaps making the comparisons to the Leinart-led Trojans not too far off.“A lot of players have just stepped up, basically the whole team just stepped up and we worked our butts off in the offseason so we can perform at our peak every game,” McNeal said. “That’s the attitude that we have, and we’re pushing it everyday.”last_img read more

Sweeney makes presence felt in Australia

first_imgBallyporeen’s Conor Sweeney has made his presence felt in the opening International Rules game down under.It’s advantage Australia after the first of two tests against Ireland.The hosts will take a 10-point lead into the second game in Perth next Saturday after getting a 63-53 victory in Adelaide this morning. Monaghan’s Conor McManus led the scoring for Ireland with 25 with Michael Murphy of Donegal adding 20.Tipperary’s Conor Sweeney added 3 points – thanks to one over.last_img

Rep. Barshell Challenges School Administrators to Focus on Sciences

first_imgCeebe Barshell making remarks during the Science and Arts exhibition at Aware International SchoolHaving experienced shortage of medical doctors throughout the country, Montserrado County District#3 Representative Ceebee Barshell on Friday, March 1, 2019, said there was a need for school administrators to pay keen attention by including Science and Arts courses into their curriculum.Barshell said during so would encourage more students to develop interest in Science and Arts courses, through which many of students could become medical doctors.Barshell made the statement when the Aware International School conducted a Science and Arts Exhibition where participating students displayed their individual talents in Science and Arts.At Friday’s exhibition, students presented working models of their projects on global warming and its preventive measures, application of mathematical theories for daily use, as well as science and arts play for kids.The students also exhibited common plants and their health benefits, assessment of intentions and their working models, and a general tour of scientific and artistic displays.With the display of Arts, Barshell said there was a need for school authorities to concentrate mostly on the field of sciences. “But to achieve that, relevant government institutions, including the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), have to do more to reduce tariffs on the importation of science related equipment and materials.Another issue, Barshell observed, was for school authorities to mobilize their resources to jointly help the importation of said equipment and materials into Liberia.Indian Consul Gen. Jetty making remarks at the Science and Art Exhibition at Aware International SchoolAlso speaking, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, commonly known as “Jeety,” lauded the Aware International School administration for the initiative, and called on authorities at the Ministry of Education to follow the good “example of the school.”Jeety, a businessman and the Indian Consul General to Liberia, said the annual science and arts exhibition would make more students to get involved with the field of science and, thereafter, become future scientists for the country.According to him, the country has about 123 medical doctors for a population of over 4 million, which he said is a result of school administrators not making enough efforts to ensure that science laboratory was prioritized into their institution.This, he said would help to attract more students to the field of science and to become medical doctors in the future.Students of Aware International School demonstrating their science and arts projectsShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more