What were the biggest factors to USC beating Arizona State? What most concerned you about the win?
Josh Webb, FightOnTwist: The biggest factors? Marqise Lee & Curtis McNeal. I'd rather spend my time talking about what concerns me. The biggest concern is that, following 2 receptions for -2 yards, Robert Woods was on Twitter dropping comments about not getting enough balls by saying "@passWoodsBall" was a fun Twitter account. That's normally stuff you see out of professional athletes who want more action. It's certainly not something you see out of a collegiate athlete with a 4-year QB. The what's and why's don't matter as much as the fact that this is happening with Notre Dame & UCLA coming up.
DC Trojan, Conquest Chronicles:. Biggest factors? As Josh said, Lee and McNeal on offense, and the defense holding things together until the offense showed up. After a couple of bad weeks, the return of the defense was encouraging. Things that are concerning: holy turnovers Batman. And I know others who are more tuned in to matters tactical will have a more nuanced opinion, but I can't help but think that opposing teams have noticed that SC uses a lot of screen passes.
Trevor Wong, Conquest Chronicles - I echo the previous two answers: Marqise Lee and Curtis McNeal. But the defense also showed up, limiting Arizona State to 250 total yards of offense, and the Sun Devils didn't score for the final 27 minutes of the game. The most concerning thing was obviously the turnovers. Surprisingly, USC managed to win by three touchdowns despite giving away the ball five times.
You guys have watched him up close. Where do you consider Marqise Lee in the Heisman race?
Josh Webb, FightOnTwist: - Being honest? Marqise Lee is the best player in the nation. Collin Klein will likely win the Heisman and you can't argue with that, but he's just been one of many fantastic components on that Kansas State team. The same can be said about Kenjon Barner and Oregon. I've actually seen Oregon fans say Mariota should be in there more than Barner, so even Oregon fans aren't all in favor of one player. This USC team might be a 4 win team without Lee. He's literally done it all for the Trojans and continues to do it even though everyone knows they're gonna give him the ball. To me, Johnny Manziel and Marqise Lee are the biggest reasons why their teams even have a chance to win. Oregon & Kansas State are two fantastic teams, but there are so many great qualities about both teams that it's hard to pinpoint one, specific player that means as much to those teams as Manziel & Lee mean to theirs.
DC Trojan, Conquest Chronicles:. I can't really offer a fair opinion here, because this season I've been watching very little college football beyond USC games - just the occasional Oregon game, as my brother is an alum. I don't know that Marqise Lee is going to win the Heisman but I don't think there's anyone clearly more productive and gifted at their position. To echo Josh, without him, this season would probably have been a smoldering crater.
Lee also passes the eyeball test for people who aren't invested, either: when I was at the Syracuse game, my friend and I were sitting next to a couple of guys who were locals who had brought their sons, no allegiance to either team, not particular football fans. Before the end of the first quarter, they were asking when Lee was going pro. By the end of the game, one of them was joking about how he had to get a 9 shirt. Ordinary players don't get that response.
Trevor Wong, Conquest Chronicles - He should be right up there at the top. He's one of those players where you hold your breath because you know he's capable of scoring every single time he touches the ball. Lee has single handedly almost won games for USC (see Arizona and arguably Oregon), and the fact that most teams know he's going to get the ball and still can't stop him speaks volumes about the kind of player he is now.