Hogue Report: 5 keys to bye week 

September, 24, 2012
With a road game a week from Thursday against Utah in Salt Lake City, it may only be half of a normal bye week, but it comes at a good time for USC. Here are five things the Trojans should be doing during the time off:

[+] EnlargeXavier Grimble
Ric Tapia/Icon SMIThe bye week gives banged-up Trojans like TE Xavier Grimble a chance to heal up heading into the Utah game.
1. Heal Up: The Trojans are battle-weary. They entered the season with a few players banged up from fall camp and have had several others go down in the first four games. With USC’s policy on injuries, we may not know the extent of some of the injuries, but clearly pivotal players like Khaled Holmes, Marcus Martin, Xavier Grimble and Hayes Pullard -- among others -- are hurting. Whether some return by next Thursday or the week after at Washington, this team needs to nurse its wounds and get as healthy as it can as quickly as it can, and nothing helps that more than a bye week.

2. Think Positive: If the bye would have come after Stanford, it would have been horrible timing. But the Trojans were able to get that taste out of their mouths by soundly beating Cal. The defense was terrific, with the front four -- having faced a lot of criticism after the Stanford loss -- absolutely dominating the Bears. Morgan Breslin, George Uko, Wes Horton, Leonard Williams -- for them, it was likely therapeutic. And both Lamar Dawson and T.J. McDonald had solid games, the latter with a key interception when it counted most. As for the offense, coach Lane Kiffin allowed the offensive line to get some redemption as well, coming at the Bears with 40 rushing attempts and almost 300 yards on the ground. Those good feelings will be welcomed as the Trojans get a small bit of time to rest up, and maybe get a little swagger back in the process.