USC’s secondary will face “the moment of truth” on Saturday in a rematch against Stanford, safety John Plattenburg said. “That’s what Coach [Justin] Wilcox calls it.”
In a 41-31 victory over the Trojans in September, Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan completed 18 of 23 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
Hogan’s top target -- 6-foot-4, 278-pound tight end Austin Hooper -- created several mismatches and caught four passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Wilcox said the defensive backs were in position, but didn’t make enough plays on the 50-50 balls.
The Trojans will be ready when the teams meet again in the Pac-12 Conference championship game, he said.
“It’s going to come down to execution of each play,” Wilcox said. “And knocking the ball down when you have a chance to make a play on the ball.”
Plattenburg, 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, said that the secondary has worked on its routes and is prepared to take on Stanford’s larger receivers.
“We can just anticipate what’s coming and what’s going on and we’ll be in better position,” he said.
USC and Stanford kick off at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.