USC's Jordan Addison says Utah matchup provides challenge he looks for
This weekend’s game between No. 7 USC and No. 20 Utah is littered with intriguing one-on-one matchups all over the football field.
Perhaps none are more exciting — or potentially decisive — than the matchup between USC’s Jordan Addison and Utah’s Clark Phillips III. Addison is the reigning Biletnikoff winner as the top wideout in college football and a projected first-round draft pick. Phillips is arguably the Pac-12’s best cover corner.
“He’s a solid corner,” said Addison. “He’s got great feet and good speed. Challenges like this, this is what I look up to and rise the most.”
Jordan Addison on his potential matchup with Utah corner Clark Phillips III, one of the top corners in the sport, this weekend: “He’s a solid corner. He’s got great feet and good speed. Challenges like this, this is what I look up to and rise the most.”#USC
— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) October 11, 2022
Addison is well off the per-game pace he enjoyed last season in terms of yardage and receptions, and yet he’s still the fourth-leading receiver in the Pac-12. After a 1,593-yard/17-touchdown season last year, Addison is known around the country as one of the most dangerous skill weapons in college football. He told reporters this week he’s noticing more outside leverage from defenders as they try and keep him from getting to the outside.
There hasn’t been the every-game consistency Addison enjoyed last year — when he had at least 80 receiving yards in 11 of his final 12 games — but he’s still had breakout moments when the opportunities present themselves.
He had 172 yards and two touchdowns against Stanford on Sept. 10. He caught the game-winning touchdown against Oregon State on Sept. 24. He had 105 yards against Arizona State.
“At times, he’s seen a little extra attention, but it’s not like he’s being double-covered every single play,” said coach Lincoln Riley. “He’s obviously had a good first half of the season, but I think he’s primed really well for us here.”
In Phillips, Addison and USC will have to manage against the FBS leader in interceptions. Phillips had three picks against Oregon State two weeks ago. Against UCLA last weekend, he picked off Dorian Thompson-Robinson and returned it for his second pick-six in as many weeks.
Through six games, Phillips has the best coverage grade of any FBS cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. He’s been targeted 29 times and has only allowed one touchdown all year.
If Utah decides to shadow Addison with Phillips, who wins the matchup? That’s something everyone will be looking to see.