USC cruised to its first victory of the year on Saturday, downing the Fresno State Bulldogs by a 52-13 score.This week the Trojans are back on the practice field preparing for a worthy opponent in the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal.First Game JittersRedshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler and USC’s crop of true freshmen stole the show on Saturday. Freshman wide receiver-safety John “JuJu” Smith racked up 123 receiving yards in his debut. Freshman wide receiver-cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and freshman tight end Bryce Dixon both notched their first touchdowns as Trojans. Meanwhile, offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn and Damien Mama became the first true freshman duo to start USC’s opener in recorded history.Toe Chainz · Redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler underwent a procedure on his toe Tuesday, but insists he will be ready for Saturday. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan“It was really cool to see not only those guys get in and actually play but also make an impact,” Kessler said following Tuesday’s practice. “You know some of those guys JuJu, Adoree’, some of the O-linemen, they made a significant impact in the game and they really helped us win. It was really cool to see coming from some guys that it was their first college game.”Redshirt freshman quarterback Max Browne had a special swagger in his step after taking his first-ever game reps as a Trojan on Saturday in USC’s blowout win.“For any player it’s more of a mental barrier you kind of hurdle,” Browne said. “You get the first time jitters out, but it was awesome to get out there, throw a couple passes [and] have some success.”Toe jamKessler underwent a procedure on his toe on Tuesday morning and missed practice.“He had to deal with his toe that had been bothering him throughout the ballgame,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We felt like we wanted to take care of it sooner rather than later … We expect him to be full-go tomorrow and be ready to go for the game.”The Bakersfield, California native, who was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week following his career performance, will be crucial in Saturday’s matchup against the Cardinal, and he promises he will be ready.“I’m 100 percent,” Kessler said. “I’m fine.”Kessler passed for a career-high 394 yards on Saturday and a career-tying four touchdowns. He also rushed for one touchdown.Kessler assured the media that he will be able to practice again all week. When asked if he was surprised that Kessler didn’t practice, Browne simply said, “Cody’s deal is Cody’s deal.”Junior defensive end Leonard Williams rolled an ankle in practice and Mama looked like he hurt his knee, but Sarkisian called it more of a scare than an injury.Pac-12 RivalsThe Trojans will open Pac-12 play this Saturday when they take on the 13th-ranked Cardinal. USC has not won a game at Stanford since 2008; however, the Trojans beat the Cardinal last year at the Coliseum. This will be Kessler’s first game against the Cardinal away from home.“I haven’t played there before so I’m excited,” Kessler said. “It’ll be a fun game, real competitive.”In preparation for Saturday’s game, Kessler reflected on the matchup as he remembered it from last year.“They were tough,” Kessler said. “They were really tough. Their front seven was really physical.”Kessler threw for 288 yards and one touchdown in last year’s 20-17 upset over Stanford.While Sarkisian was coaching at Washington, he sparked up a bit of a rivalry of his own with Stanford and head coach David Shaw by accusing the Cardinal of faking injuries.“Honestly, David [Shaw] and I are both highly competitive people,” Sarkisian said. “We both want to win; we both want our teams to do well … We’re gonna battle and compete this week and all day Saturday to try to win the game.”
Kingston subsidiary HyperX released the HyperX QuadCast two weeks ago, and we have gotten our hands-on this new all-inclusive microphone. HyperX was showing off this microphone at CES earlier this year, but just recently started shipping the finalized product. Like other HyperX offerings, the QuadCast matches the style and color palate with a sleek black design and red accents. The HyperX QuadCast microphone itself is made of a mix of a softer plastic, and metal with a foam insert, with a solid build quality. The unit comes with its own metal stand and anti-vibration shock mount allowing for a quick installation. HyperX has included a mount adapter which fits both 3/8″ and 5/8″ thread sizes and is compatible with most third party stands and boom arms. Two of the features that we were impressed by when we were first introduced to the microphone, are the ability to know the active status of the microphone from the LED indicator, and the “tap-to-mute” feature which allows the prevention of broadcasting accidents. End users can select between the four polar patterns (stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional) from the physically mounted and conveniently-located gain control dial. This gives the user the ability to quickly adjust their microphone input sensitivity. Also integrated is an internal pop filter designed to reduce noise for clearer voice quality. The microphone also features the ability to monitor your input with an integrated 3.5mm headphone jack. Over the last two weeks we have been testing the microphone for sound quality, and so far, we have been impressed with the clear and distortion free sound pickup. As gamer, or podcaster, on a budget this condenser microphone will easily accomplish those tasks without breaking the bank. The HyperX QuadCast also offers multi-device chat program compatibility and is certified by Discord and TeamSpeak. The only downsides we could find in our testing of the HyperX QuadCast, is the inability to disable or modify the red LED lighting, and the lack of physical controls to adjust the volume output for headphones. If you are looking for professional level sound recording, you should look towards other options as the HyperX QuadCast lacks XLR outputs and only supports USB connectivity. With other competitors on the market in the microphone business, the HyperX QuadCast is a great first step into the market segment. Priced at $139 USD, HyperX has produced a high-quality product at a competitive price for gamers and podcasters interested in upgrading their current setup.