Mays gets more plaudits for performance against Cal

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

USC safety Taylor Mays was named the Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week as well as Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week.

Good time to pause for a moment and appreciate Mays, who led the Trojans with 10 tackles and an interception in their 30-3 drubbing of California.

But first a quiz.

How many touchdown passes has USC allowed this year?

Answer: Zero.

Extra credit: How many other FBS teams have not allowed a TD pass this year?

Answer: Zero.

How much credit does Mays deserve for that?

Answer: A lot.

It's going to be a lot of fun to watch Mays against Notre Dame and quarterback Jimmy Clausen on Oct. 17. With 12 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 68 percent completion percentage, Clausen leads the nation in passing efficiency, while Mays and the Trojans rank third in pass efficiency defense.

But back to Mays against Cal. The play that stuck out to me was not his interception in the endzone.

It was when he chased down Jahvid Best, one of the fastest players in college football, on a third-and-short play in the second quarter.

It wasn't just the speed, though. It was Mays' recognition and reaction. You get the feeling that when Best looked up and threw an abortive stiff-arm he was thinking, "What the heck are you doing here?"

Safe to say that Mays' sprained knee, the injury that forced him to sit out the Washington game -- his first missed game during his four years as a starter -- is better.