Author: Jonah Perez

Jonah Perez is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He covers USC and the NE Patriots for Gridiron Heroics. Follow him on Twitter @jonahap2.

The Backyard Brawl has finally returned! This is one of the most heated rivalries in all of college sports. Now it has a Trojan smell to it. It’s extremely unique to have a returning rivalry game, where the quarterbacks were former competitors with each other. Kedon Slovis won the QB battle back in 2019, it wouldn’t be surprising if they both still had a chip on their shoulders from the competition. J.T. Daniels JT Daniels entered USC as a highly touted local recruit from Mater Dei in Santa Ana. His first season was promising but the Trojans were starting to…

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Even with all the overblown USC hype as a result of former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley’s hiring, the Trojans will only have eight wins. The complete opposite of last season, Riley will establish and return USC to college football relevancy. However, I wouldn’t expect them to compete for the Playoff, Riley needs more time to build up the roster. Rice W This is one of those matchups where the home school is paying the away school to play on the road against a superior opponent. For all of USC’s struggles, they are still more talented than…

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Another bad week for the Patriots offense. Preseason week 3 is now the last chance for them to show something before the regular season. Patriots Tuesday’s joint practice with Vegas was more of the same for the struggling offense. DeVante Parker was great and they were able to score a touchdown to end it, which is good to build on, but most of the day was frustrating. While the defense has been great, the secondary did have many problems with former Green Bay Packers All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams. They lost All-Pro cornerback J.C. Jackson to free agency earlier…

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Practice has value. It has even more value when it ends up being tougher than the actual game. Former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley wants intensity, change has to come. As fall camp came to a close on Aug. 20 and its now two weeks before week one, the intensity experienced throughout the offseason since Riley arrived needs to be maintained, according to him. Culture Change “A big thing we’re pushing on the guys right now is: the game week practices are not a ‘save it up and gear up for the game,” Riley said. “We intend to practice out…

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NFL

It’s been a long week leading up to Patriots vs Panthers. The joint practices been tense and so should the game, even if it’s the preseason. Patriots While the Panthers are playing mostly second and third string player, New England has decided to give their starters more reps together. The playing time also will help Belichick finalize how he wants to utilize the positions with the most depth. Like wide receiver and the secondary. These positions have a lot of good players, but who’s going to step up and take the starting roles. WR Nelson Agholor has certainly made a…

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With Madden’s full release right around the corner (August 19) everybody’s discussing the ratings. It’s always interesting to see which top college programs have the most and best pro players. Here are the Top Five USC Trojan ratings. Tyron Smith LT 95 Overall As one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL, it’s only fitting he was drafted ninth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the famous 2011 NFL Draft. While at USC from 2008 – 2010 he started two full seasons at RT and LT and they went 17 – 9. In 2009 as part of Pete Carroll’s…

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NFL

Joint practice scuffles are nothing new. It is odd however to have a second controversy after the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers had the same issue the previous day. Mike Reiss of Espn noted how it has never gotten this far before during the Belichick era. Day One The first incident was because of trash talk. Patriots Wide Receiver Kristian Wilkerson caught an out route and with help from teammate Kendrick Bourne, started taunting Panthers defensive back Kenny Robinson. This caused the first melee. Bill Belichick was not happy because it’s one thing to defend your teammate, it’s another…

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Another sign the Trojans are on the way back. In recent years the Oregon Ducks have dominated west coast offensive and defensive lineman recruits. The News Alani Noa official announced his intention to go to Los Angeles for his college degree instead of Eugene. A three star recruit, he must also sense a change in the west coast college landscape. How it Impacts USC As a kid from California, it was imperative to not let rival Oregon get another California commitment. Riley’s recruiting goal has been to lock up the state for the Trojans again. When they were at the…

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Comparing USC’s spots in the Associated Press and coaches’ preseason poll further shows the differences between how coaches and media view the game. AP Preseason Poll In this poll the Trojans are No. 14, while Utah and Oregon are No. 7 and No. 11. This is decided by a combination of journalists and broadcasters who cover the sport. The polls are determined through a point system, each top 25 spot has a point total associated with it. USC is at No. 14 with 711 points. What tells me how the media sees the program is how they group their rankings;…

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NFL Preseason week one is a dress rehearsal for most teams. Practice during training camp is one thing but not the same as a game. Regardless of whether it’s an actual game or exhibition. The New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants 23 – 21 in both clubs first preseason game. First Quarter New England won the first quarter 7 – 3. Both teams went one for two in regards to the amount of possessions and scores they had. Both teams had more of a focus on the passing game. The Giants were stalled at the goal line…

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