Wednesday Practice Report

Linebackers coach Joe Barry went back to the videotape this week to better understand Stanford's aggressive tempo on offense.

No Huddle, Big Problems
In last year's 55-21 demolition of USC, Stanford frequently caught the Trojans defense off guard by pushing the tempo, most notably on a three-yard touchdown run by Toby Gerhart.

Based on how USC has fared against no-huddle offenses this season, they should expect a lot more of it Saturday at Stanford Stadium.

"I've got to imagine we're the worst no-huddle defense in all of football right now," USC coach Lane Kiffin said. "I think we've given up 34 or 37 points and something like 477 yards in no-huddle situations through five games.

"That's usually a full 16-game NFL season. Those are significant points that people are getting real fast on us."

Linebackers coach Joe Barry went back and watched the original television broadcast of last season's game and others in an attempt to get a better feel for the Cardinal's pace, something that isn't always evident on the coaches tape.

"There's one or two times in every game where you see Stanford, they're up on the line of scrimmage ready to snap the ball and there are four or five guys running into the game on the defensive side of the ball."

Barry said that approach forces the coaches to be quicker with their calls and players must be ready to substitute at a moment's notice.

With several other fast-paced offenses ahead, including No. 3 Oregon, which is running an absurd average of 2.9 plays per minute, the Trojans are trying to replicate that tempo in practice this week.

"We're practicing at that tempo, we're trying to practice at that tempo," Kiffin said. "Even when we went against each other today, we practiced at a quicker tempo in between plays. Hopefully that'll help."

Long Memory
Perhaps the defining moment of last year's game between USC and Stanford was coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to go for two while leading 48-21.

While Stepfan Taylor's rush did not succeed, Trojan fans and players certainly remember it.

"That was tough," linebacker Michael Morgan said. "That was last year.

"We didn't forget about it, I want to remind you we didn't forget about it."

And while the team's first attempt at payback, against Washington, was unsuccessful, Morgan has a message for the Cardinal.

"They did it. They'll have to pay for it."

Hot Reads
-USC upped the intensity of practice Wednesday with more ones against ones and a longer 9-on-7, but paid the price as C Kris O'Dowd left practice early and had his left shoulder wrapped in ice.

-DE Wes Horton (back) did not practice Wednesday. FB Stanley Havili, WR Robert Woods, DE Nick Perry, OL Butch Lewis and CB Shareece Wright were limited.

-Joe Houston and Jacob Harfman each went 0 for 3 in field goal attempts Wednesday. Special teams coach John Baxter told Michael Lev of the Orange County Register that Houston will remain the starting kicker. Top Stories