USC needs fast start

LOS ANGELES -- Oregon has started slowly in a number of games this year. USC may need that to happen this afternoon.

It seems strange to type, "The Trojans need to build some early confidence," but they do.

The 47-20 loss at Oregon last year is surely fresh in their minds. Further, if Oregon gets in rhythm early, it's hard to get them out of it. A fast Oregon start also takes the crowd out of the game.

Finally, the season-long question with USC has been motivation.

A fast start builds the Trojans' confidence and their motivation. A slow start damages their confidence and challenges their motivation.

When the Oregon pace starts to get them tired, it will be harder to dig deep if the scoreboard is reporting bad news.