USC concludes hell week as they prepare for season opener

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

Los Angeles, CA – USC football training camp is in full swing as the Trojans concluded what head coach Clay Helton dubbed as hell week during Thursday’s zoom press conference. Helton talked about the team’s increased physicality.

Helton said the practices have been extremely physical and extremely competitive. The kids have brought unbelievable energy to the park each and every day. 

“It’s been a really great week of practice,” Helton said. “It’s hell week for us, which is our most physical week of camp. Guys have been in pads every day.”

On Wednesday, USC junior safety Talanoa Hufanga participated in a media-only webinar to talk about the upcoming 2020 season. 

“I’m very excited. We are just trying to take it day-by-day.” Hufanga said. “We are eager to get out there. Obviously we know we have a lot of work to do and we have a couple weeks to prepare the best we can.”

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

The USC defense is learning a new scheme during camp with the addition of new defense coordinator Todd Orlando USC is getting used to Orlando’s aggressive, blitzing style. 

“It’s different. You go from a (zoom) meeting like this and you see the formations pop up on the screen then once you’re on the field it’s a whole different speed,” Hufanga said. “The coaches have done a great job. They preach two things, run and hit.”

Helton said Hufanga is flourishing in Orlando’s new defense. He’s one of those special, special skill sets that are required for this system.

“It really was made for Talanoa,” Helton said. “You’re talking about a 210-215 pound man that runs 4.4, that can cover, can hit, can be a box player, can literally walk in between the tackles and be in a linebacker position if needed.”

Huganga finished 2019 with 90 tackles in 10 games. He suffered a concussion against Utah and missed the Washington game, then sprained his right shoulder against Arizona and missed the Colorado and Oregon games. He had post-season surgery on the shoulder.

Photo by John Hays / fi360 News

“I’m a full go,” Hufanga said. “I’ve been cleared since June. Every live period, every tackling period I’ve been able to go to the ground multiple times. It’s been a blessing to have an opportunity with our team.”

The Trojans will continue to prepare for its season opener against Arizona State on Nov. 7 at 9 a.m.