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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : USC : Cougar Tackles Will Be Solid Challenge

November 01, 1994|EARL GUSTKEY

USC's challenge Saturday at Washington State is to neutralize what many are calling the Pac-10's best pair of defensive tackles, Chad Eaton (6-5, 285) and Don Sasa (6-4, 300).

Sasa, a Samoan-born senior from Long Beach Poly High, is the surprise in Washington State's Pacific 10-leading defensive unit, Cougar defensive coordinator Bill Doba said.

"Sasa is the surprise," he said. "He stayed in Pullman all summer and lifted weights, got his bench press over 400 pounds, and got in great shape.

"Last year, he was not in good shape and had to take a play off now and then."

Eaton and Sasa, Doba said, are so effective at flushing quarterbacks that Washington State hasn't had to blitz as often as he'd planned before the season. WSU defensive end DeWayne Patterson leads the conference in sacks with 12.5.

"They're the best pair of (defensive) tackles in the conference," said USC defensive coordinator Don Lindsey.

"It's not their size--you can find 290s anywhere--it's their explosiveness."

USC offensive line coach Mike Barry said guards Chris Brymer, Kyle Ramsay and Kris Pollack will be asked to slow Eaton and Sasa. Brymer, however, was limping on a sprained ankle in practice last week.

The availability of another guard, onetime starter Phalen Pounds, isn't certain. He's been recovering from an arthroscopic knee procedure.

*

The Trojans' record against Washington State, 45-5-4, is USC's best against any Pac-10 school. USC has won 22 of the last 23 meetings. . . . Saturday's 12:30 game will be televised by ABC.

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