Virginia LB talks about USC

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

This is a repost -- the cyber gods messed up the original version. Apologies.

Virginia's Clint Sintim has started 37 games over the past three years and had nine sacks and 17 QB hurries in 2007, numbers that probably got a boost from the presence of DE Chris Long, the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. I chatted with Sintim over teleconference today.

Anything in particular strike you about watching USC on film?

Clint Sintim: For one, they're really talented. That's one thing we all know about USC. They play very fast. They play with a lot of energy. They play with a lot of passion. They play football the way football is supposed to be played.

How big of a deal is it for a national ranked team like USC to be coming into town?

CS: It's very exciting. They're nationally ranked. They're one of the better teams -- if not the best team -- in the nation. And they come down here, somewhere they haven't played. To have an opportunity to play a team like that really excites us and motivates us. It's been talked about since the schedule was set. It's a big team coming in here. It's been on the radar for quite some time. Fortunately, it's not that far away. The excitement is just getting higher and higher.

USC's linebackers get a lot of hype. Does that mean anything to you as a linebacker who maybe wants to put himself on the map, especially with the NFL Draft, to maybe match up with what those guys do on the other side of the field?

CS: There's no doubt about it that their linebackers are good, especially [Rey] Maualuga. All those guys are very talented and they've been talented for quite some time. I've actually watched them and they make plays. They are well-respected and they deserve to be well-respected. At the same time, over here we have some pretty decent linebackers as well. A lot of our guys have played for quite some time as well and we've made some plays as well.

What do you guys need to do to pull off the upset on Saturday?

CS: Play within the system. Play hard and play with passion. Just come out with a lot of intensity and play the game of football the way we know how.

Is being a 19 1/2-point underdog something you can use as motivation?

CS: I didn't even look at the spread sheet or whatever. It's no secret we're the underdog, and rightfully so. Everybody says they should win and I guess that's the way it is. If you look at the records, I couldn't see how we wouldn't be the underdog. But we're just going to play the game of football and prepare and try to come into the game with the best preparation we possibly can so we can make it a good game.