S Mays comes up big against California
October, 5, 2009
By Kevin Weidl
USC S Taylor Mays turned in a good performance in the Trojans' 30-3 rout of California, making the kind of impact plays we've been waiting to see from him. Mays didn't waste any time, either, making a pair of big plays near the USC goal line on the first series of the game. On first-and-3 from the 6-yard line, Mays did a good job timing a blitz off the edge and wrapped up Golden Bears RB Jahvid Best for no gain. Two plays later, California QB Kevin Riley lined up in the shotgun and bought himself time in the pocket, but Mays did a good job staying home and reading Riley's eyes from the back of the end zone. He broke on the ball well and showed good hands making the interception. Later in the first quarter Mays recognized and stayed home on a reverse, filling the running lane and stopping the play for a minimal gain. That is exactly the kind of anticipation and instincts we have been looking for from him. Mays has all the physical tools but that part of his game has been lacking at times. He still must do a better job of staying under control in run support, where he has a tendency to lower his head and miss tackles while trying to make the big hit, but it is encouraging to see more big plays from him. Mays is on his way to cementing his status as a high first-round pick. For a look at other USC players who stood out against California, a pair of small-school prospects who impressed over the weekend, and notes from around the country, become an ESPN Insider.
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