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Insider

Are the Trojans ready for Wazzu?

9/5/2013
AP Photo/Eugene Tanner

LOS ANGELES -- Ready or not, the undefeated USC Trojans (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12 South) open Pac-12 Conference play early by hosting the Washington State Cougars (0-1, 0-0 Pac-12 North) in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night in a critical game for both teams.

And with that in mind ...

Lane Kiffin is ready: To again not announce who his starting quarterback is until Saturday evening, even though all leaked reports point to Cody Kessler.

Kiffin is not ready: To drop this quarterback drama and attention when it could have been over by naming Kessler a starter on Monday.

The offensive line is ready: To prove against Washington State that they are better than what they showed against Hawaii’s “vaunted” defense.

The offensive line is not ready: To take on defensive lines of Stanford or Notre Dame yet.

The secondary is ready: To prove it isn’t a house divided between standout safeties and shaky cornerbacks.

The secondary is not ready: For the type of passing attack that Washington State figures to bring on Saturday, or so it appears.

Trojans fans are ready: To finally get out and tailgate and party hardy in Exposition Park before the game.

Trojans fans are not ready: To be frustrated by lapses of offensive red zone efficiency, pass defense, and questionable play-calling.

The Trojans defensive line is ready: To give Washington State a fierce rush that will make Auburn look like a Pop Warner team.

The Trojans defensive line is not ready: Well, on second thought, it is ready to take it to the Washington State offensive line.

The off-site Coliseum parking lots are ready: To charge fans a ridiculous fee to park a car for home games with Stanford and UCLA.

The Coliseum parking lots are not ready: To jack up the parking prices only because the Trojans are playing unattractive Washington State.

Athletic Director Pat Haden is ready: To see a resounding Trojans victory that could affect attendance the following week against Boston College.

Haden is not ready: For fans to be booing if they don’t like what they see on Saturday night.

Wide receiver Marqise Lee is ready: To play like the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner.

Lee is not ready: To drop touchdown passes and become the invisible man.

The Trojans tailbacks are ready: To attack again if Lane Kiffin continues with his promise to run the ball.

The Trojans tailbacks are not ready: To take some vicious hits when the offensive line doesn’t pick up blitzes and stunts.

Traveler is ready: To gallop around the Coliseum after every Trojans touchdown.

Traveler is not ready: To stand silently in a darkened Coliseum tunnel waiting for the Trojans to actually score more than one second-half touchdown.

Trojans offensive line coach Mike Summers is ready: To see if Washington State’s defense tries to copy Hawaii’s defensive game plan.

Summers is not ready: For the Trojans offensive line not to be physical.

Ticket scalpers outside the Coliseum are ready: To sell tickets at a reasonable price because the opponent is Washington State and kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Ticket scalpers outside the Coliseum are not ready: To eat tickets and lose out on making any money at all, so “deals” could be had.

The Trojans tight ends are ready: For a breakout game with downfield passes.

The Trojans tight ends are not ready: To be forgotten.

The Expo Line is ready: To make fans appreciate that there are other modes of transportation other than a car and fighting freeway traffic.

The Expo Line is not ready: To handle a Coliseum sellout.

Kessler is ready: To start and show improvement from the Hawaii game.

Kessler is not ready: To have passes dropped and become rattled when things go bad.

QB Max Wittek is ready: To start if called upon.

Wittek is not ready: To drop back and get flushed out of the pocket and run for his life.

The Trojans Marching Band is ready: To come proudly marching into the Coliseum and sit in the shade of the “Sun Deck” for a night game.

The Trojans Marching Band is not ready: To sit in the “Sun Deck” at noon against Boston College next week and melt like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Placekicker Andre Heidari is ready: To build upon last week’s impressive three field goal performance against Hawaii, which reminded everybody why he was first-team All-Pac-12 kicker as a freshman.

Heidari is not ready: To have his kickoffs returned out of the end zone.

The press box pregame menus are ready: To provide the usual hot dogs, pasta, salad, chips, fruit, and let’s not forget the complimentary soda and water.

The press box pregame menu is not ready: To provide pizza, cookies, and brownies after the game to starving writers working on deadline.

The Coliseum is ready: To welcome with open arms her favorite sons dressed in cardinal and gold -- and let’s not forget the USC Song Girls.

The Coliseum is not ready: To have those eyesore VIP towers and “suites” block the view of one of the nation’s most iconic sites, the historic peristyle end of the Coliseum.