Rivalry week notebook
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Rivalry week notebook

It's been a quiet week around Howard Jones practice field at USC as the Trojans prepare to take on crosstown rival UCLA in a matchup that will send the winner to the Pac-12 Championship game.

Quiet week
It seems like every week since fall camp started there's been some sort of firework show around the USC football program.

Going into rivalry week it wouldn't have been surprising for that to continue. However, surprisingly enough, it's been the quietest week around practice all season.

No trash talking between USC and UCLA on Twitter, no head coaches quipping during post-practice press conferences, and no deflated footballs.

USC Coach Lane Kiffin didn't even weigh in this week on the issues surrounding the game that have nothing to do with football itself.

"The first meeting was about dealing with the media and social media," Kiffin explained, "and making sure that we are preparing really well and that we are focused on the preparation of the day and not of the game itself and other stuff around it."

Asked if he knew about the Trojan drum major stabbing his sword at the 50-yard line, Kiffin said, "I don't know. I'm trying to block these defensive ends, I'm not really worried about that."

And as far as which jersey's the Trojans will wear? "I think it was already decided that we're going (to wear home jerseys) a couple weeks ago," he said.

Handling Hundley
For as much buzz as there was around USC senior quarterback Matt Barkley at the beginning of the season, there is just as much now surrounding UCLA redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley.

"He's put together unbelievable numbers the whole season," Kiffin said of the Bruin quarterback."

"We're going to have our hands full. We're going have to rush really well."

Hundley is hitting his stride at the right time in the season for UCLA, completing 60 of 78 passes in his last three games for the Bruins.

"He really can make things happen when they break down," Kiffin said, "whether he's running or throwing it on third downs."

Forget 50-0
It's hard to do, but the Trojans must put the 50-0 beating of the Bruins out of their heads as they continue to prepare for Saturday's game.

"I think years are totally irrelevant to the next year," Kiffin said. "I don't think that has anything to do with where they're at now."

Right now the Bruins are 8-2 overall, 5-2 in the Pac-12. They're even ranked four sports higher in the AP poll than the 7-3 Trojans.

"I think that has to do with Jim's come in there and done a great job," Kiffin said of what is accounting for the difference in play coming out of Westwood. "He came in with a lot of discipline and they're coached really well."

Quick Hits
Asked if he expects tailback Silas Redd to return to action this week after sitting out against Arizona State with an undisclosed injury Kiffin said "I hope so."

Sophomore receiver Marqise Lee says there is "no way" he'll take the field on defense against the Bruins.

Kiffin says he doesn't think the outcome of the rivalry game has a "major impact" on local recruiting, "It just goes into whatever that formula is of the kid making a decision," he said.

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