Washington State and Southern California, No. 20 within the School Soccer Playoff rankings, needs to be well-rested by the point they meet Sunday in a Pacific-12 Convention sport in Los Angeles.
The Cougars would possibly even be a bit rusty.
WSU (1-1) has had its previous two video games canceled due to coronavirus issues, together with final week’s Apple Cup rivalry towards Washington. Athletic director Pat Chun stated then that 9 soccer gamers had been in COVID-19 protocol.
“We discuss how disenchanted I am certain everyone seems to be that there wasn’t an Apple Cup (final week), however you flip it and go straight to USC,” first-year Cougars coach Nick Rolovich stated. “Virtually turns into like a bonus-bye-week-type deal.”
Underneath Rolovich, Washington State ranks third within the Pac-12 in passing yards per sport (274.0) and seventh in dashing offense (164.5). Preseason all-conference first-team operating again Max Borghi has but to play this season. He suffered a again damage in preseason camp.
Quarterback Jayden de Laura has been regular, finishing 59.7 % of his cross makes an attempt for 548 yards, with 4 touchdowns and one interception. He reportedly was one of many Cougars who examined optimistic for COVID-19.
The Cougars’ final sport was Nov. 14, a 43-29 loss at house to Oregon. Washington State was main by 12 factors late within the first half when the Geese scored with three seconds remaining earlier than intermission to reclaim the momentum.
“I do not suppose they’ve plenty of enjoyable sitting at house. I believe it is a group that likes to be on the market enjoying and competing,” Rolovich stated. “I believe they just like the model of soccer (they’re enjoying). Clearly we needed to win (towards) Oregon, however simply the mindset of enjoying has taken maintain on this group.”
USC (3-0) additionally had an unscheduled bye final week as its house sport towards Colorado — the one different unbeaten staff within the Pac-12’s South Division — was known as off.
The Trojans most not too long ago performed Nov. 21 at Utah, a 33-17 victory. Kedon Slovis was 24-of-35 passing for 264 yards and two touchdowns, and USC compelled 5 turnovers.
“We performed with a swagger, particularly on protection,” stated Trojans coach Clay Helton, whose staff needed to rally late for victories in its first two video games towards Arizona State and Arizona.
Sunday’s sport initially was scheduled to be performed Friday night time, however USC had 4 optimistic COVID-19 circumstances and 7 different gamers quarantined by contact tracing protocols.
The Trojans lastly received again on the apply subject Tuesday.
“We really feel like we have finished a very good job of shutting this factor down, hopefully,” Helton stated. “We’ll see how that progresses via the week, however to have (Monday) for our gamers with no optimistic assessments, that was superior.”
The Trojans remained under the conference-mandated minimal of seven scholarship linemen Tuesday, and Helton stated they’re unlikely to have the ability to subject a full scout staff for apply this week.
“We’re going to need to be inventive,” Helton stated. “You are not going to have the ability to have sufficient our bodies to have the quantity of bodily contact you want. It won’t be a standard apply week for us.”
USC’s passing sport has been balanced, with 5 completely different gamers with 13 or extra receptions.
This would be the first assembly between the faculties since 2018, when the Trojans gained 39-36. USC leads the all-time collection 59-10-4.
–Area Stage Media