Tuesday Practice Notes

Tuesday morning marked both a day of practice, as well as, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly's weekly media teleconference. Kelly, and other members of his staff, discussed the difficult challenges that will be posed by the Trojans this upcoming Saturday.

Often, coaches say that individual player rankings mean next to nothing when it comes to lining up against your opposition on game day and battling it out. However, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly went against the grain some this morning during his weekly media teleconference, telling the media contingent in attendance that by looking at USC's two-deep, he wasn't buying the idea that the Trojans (5-2 overall, 2-2 conference) were slipping.

"Out of their first 44 players, they have 12 five-star recruits and 26 four-star recruits," remarked Kelly. "I don't know if there is anyone in the country that has that...they're the most talented team in the Pac-10, I'll tell you that."

One of the biggest questions for USC heading in to Saturday's game against Oregon will be how well they can slow the Ducks' break-neck offensive pace. Kelly singled out players the likes of linebackers Devon Kennard and Chris Galippo, defensive backs Nickell Robey and T.J. McDonald, and defensive linemen Jurrell Casey and Armond Armstead as players who could potentially cause major issues for the Ducks in Los Angeles.

"You're going to see a lot of really good athletes (for USC) flying around," said Kelly. "It'll be interesting to see how they defend us...they've got some players who can run around and make plays, so it's going to be a real challenge for us."

Offensively, Kelly was quick to point out the vast array of weapons the Trojans possess on that side of the ball. Running backs Allen Bradford, Stanley Havili, and Marc Tyler along with wide receivers Ronald Johnson and Robert Woods give USC a myriad of options when they have the football. Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley leads the Trojan offense, posting 20 touchdown passes to only 4 interceptions through 7 games. When asked what sticks out to him about Barkley as a quarterback, Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti had no shortage of compliments for the young signal caller.

"He very talented," stated Aliotti. "He's smart, he's matured quite a bit, he can move out of the pocket and he's got some nice looking guys to throw the ball to. I'm impressed with Matt Barkley...he's doing the right thing with the ball and some how, some way, we're going to have to get a little pressure on him and we're going to have to cover."

Notes: Oregon sophomore running back Kenjon Barner returned to practice today. Though he donned a red non-contact jersey and carried his helmet for much of the day, he was seen doing some conditioning drills on the sidelines as the team practiced inside the Moshofsky Center this morning. No determination has been made on Barner's status for Saturday's game, as Kelly maintained once again that his running back was "day-to-day."

Official Oregon Injury Report:

RB Kenjon Barner (head), CB Anthony Gildon (leg), DB Javes Lewis (leg), OL Nick Rowland (sick)

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney


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