5 To Watch: USC Defense

Robey played well vs. Michael Floyd last fall

SCPlaybook.com's Lindsey Thiry offers Irish fans five Trojan defenders to watch in their matchup with the top-ranked Irish Saturday night.

#91 DE Morgan Breslin
JUCO-transfer Morgan Breslin has been the biggest surprise for the Trojans this season. The defensive end has a motor that never stops and his team leading 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss proves. It will be key for Notre Dame's offensive line to always know where Breslin is, otherwise he'll be in the backfield reeking havoc.

#21 CB Nickell Robey
Teams wouldn't challenge junior cornerback Nickell Robey the first half of the season because of his strengths and quite frankly, because of the other side of the field's weakness. Teams have started to throw Robey's way and he is liable to give up scattered explosive plays, however he is still the Trojans' most explosive player in the secondary and challenging him can easily result in a pick. After all, he has to defend Marqise Lee and Robert Woods everyday.

#7 S T.J. McDonald
Senior safety T.J. McDonald leads the Trojans with 89 tackles this season. McDonald is all over the field for USC's defense. He's recorded a sack and he's made two interceptions. McDonald is as unsatisfied with the Trojans season as anyone on the team, look for him to play with extra motivation on Saturday during senior day and his final chance at redemption for the year that hasn't lived up to expectations.

#10 LB Hayes Pullard
Despite the defensive struggles in for the Trojans in the second half of their schedule, sophomore linebacker Hayes Pullard has come on strong. He's second on the team with 78 tackles. He's sacked the quarterback twice this season and has recorded a pick.

#18 LB Dion Bailey
Sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey has been a playmaker on the Trojans' defense all season, his four interceptions lead the team and his 71 tackles put him third on the team. Bailey, recruited as a safety and moved to linebacker, could be considered small for the position but his speed makes him a huge threat to opposing offenses.

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