Originally Posted by Texian
You're right. Cushing played SLB primarily. In 2007 USC created the Elephant (hybrid) position in order to get Matthews on the field because he was that good as he was backing up Keith Rivers at the time (Rivers a Top 10 draft pick). Because of the success they stayed with it in 2008. In the 4-3 Matthews played DE and in the 3-4 he played ROLB. When USC was in a 4-3 in some passing situations Kaluka Maiava would come in for Cushing. The Trojans when in a 3-4, LBs would line up, Maiava-Cushing-Maualaga-Matthews. Actually to be more technically correct Carroll used a 5-2 much like Wade's D with Matthews on the End standing up and Cushing and Maualaga were the 2. Much like the way Carroll is using Bruce Irvin in Seattle. The 2008 USC Defense is considered one of the best defenses of all time.
This is accurate from what I watched too, never considered USC defense one of best ever, but certainly had the tools & in mix for best in country that year.