Former Trojans to face off in AFC Championship Game

Former USC quarterback and current New York Jets signal caller Mark Sanchez is set to make his second debut in the AFC Championship after doing so a season ago.

Last week, the Jets stunned the Patriots in a dramatic 28-21 win Sunday and aim to do the same this weekend.

Yet, this is still unfamiliar territory for Sanchez, as he hopes to lead the Jets to their first Super Bowl since 1968, but to their rival it’s nothing new. The Pittsburgh Steelers know the severity of this game all too well.

Led by a former Trojan as well in safety Troy Polamalu, the Steelers hope to make their eighth Super Bowl appearance, potentially adding another title to their current six – the most in NFL history.

Defense is said to win games, and the Jets proved testament to that theory, shutting down both the Patriot’s passing and running game last week, forcing Tom Brady to throw his first interception in more than 200 completed passes.

The Steelers, however, are known for their defense as well, as Polamalu has recorded 63 tackles and seven interceptions this season. Despite suffering an injury to his Achilles tendon, the former USC defensive back practiced with the team on Friday and is expected to be ready to go Sunday.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger face his old WR Santonio Holmes, whose memorable catch in Super Bowl XLIII two years ago against the Arizona Cardinals, allowed the organization to capture its sixth title.

Both quarterbacks will be under intense scrutiny this week, as two of the league’s toughest defenses go head-to-head.