If junior safety Brian Suite and the Aggies defense can hope to cover USC receiver Marqise Lee, they'll have to do it with their eyes.
The term "eye control" has been a common one in the Aggies' press conferences, starting after their game against Utah and on since then. On Monday, Suite talked about what it meant to have "strong eyes."
Here's his quote (and it's a long one):
"In the secondary you always have visual keys that you're working off of, whether it be a receiver or a back in the backfield. Something that the coaches are always harping on is to keep your eyes on your keys because when you go through your keys it will take you through a certain progression. Say the slot runs an out, that will take you to your next progression, which will keep you where you need to be assignment-wise. When you start to lose your eyes and start to try to do jobs that are not yours that's when you start to get into trouble and you start to have missed assignments or gaps that aren't filled."
Matt Wells attributed at least one broken play against the Utes to losing eye control, meaning simply a defender missed his visual keys. It's been something the Aggies have stressed in recent weeks.
Of course, USC is a different animal compared to the teams they've faced in the last two games. Lee was a preseason All-American, and Wells also cited Nelson Agholor as another strong talent on the other end. Although the Trojans don't have a lot of depth at receiver, the receivers they have are vastly talented.
The way the Trojans run the ball (196 yards per game) Utah State's first priority is to stop the run. But the Aggies are fully aware that the play action pass - coupled with poor discipline - could be USC's biggest weapon.
"The area of emphasis this week in the back end is the eye control with the secondary and being in the right spot to stop play-action stuff," Wells said. "Honestly, I don't know how much that got tested Saturday, so that will need to be evident this week again."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon