Tuesday Practice Report

With the No.1 team in the country coming to town in two weeks, the USC Trojans took the field at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, and to the surprise of some sleepy-eyed reporters, it was one of the most intense and fast-paced practices of the season. Look inside for the details.

With the No.1 team in the country coming to town in two weeks, the USC Trojans took the field at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, and to the surprise of some sleepy-eyed reporters, it was one of the most intense and fast-paced practices of the season.

"It's good to get back out here on the field, move on from last week's game, and get focused on making sure that we find a way to make sure we are in really good shape for this marathon in two Saturday's from now that will be at a sprinters pace," Lane Kiffin said.

While most bye week practices are usually slower and have a bit less energy, that certainly wasn't the case at Howard Jones Field this morning.

Lane Kiffin, minus a few assistants that had already hit the recruiting trail, made sure that the players were focused on getting physically and mentally prepared for Oregon's high-powered offense that averages 54 points and 567 yards per game.

"It's a big challenge. There is a reason they are No.1 in the country in scoring offense and total yards," Kiffin said. "It's nothing like any of us have ever seen before. We will have our hands full and luckily we have a bye."

USC's defense, which is coming off their best performance of the season, got plenty of work facing a no huddle offense on Tuesday.

"Over the last two weeks of preparation we had picked up the pacing between plays and some more no huddle stuff, just kind of gearing towards this game," he said. "And then today we kind of went to the next step.

"What I tried to do is I tried to create a practice like what (Oregon's) practices are like. I tried to come as close as we could to it. I hope it was beneficial for our defense."

Sophomore safety T.J. McDonald said the practice was grueling but worth every drip of sweat if it gets them better prepared for the Ducks.

"I know the feeling after those two losses, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to not feel that again," McDonald said.

Good News for Gable

USC running back C.J. Gable, who suffered what was thought to be a season-ending knee injury late in USC's 48-14 win over California, got good news when it was revealed that he just has a bone bruise.

"I thought it was going to be worse," Gable said. "I am just happy that it came out a bruise."

The senior tailback wore a sleeve on his left knee and was unable to practice but remains optimistic that he will be available when the Trojans host Oregon on Oct. 30th.

"I will be fine," Gable said. "I'll be back next week."

Hot Reads

- Malcolm Smith, John Martinez, Tyron Smith, Dillon Baxter and C.J. Gable didn't practice on Tuesday because of various injuries. Wes Horton, Nick Perry, Marc Tyler and Jordan Cameron were all limited.

- With a lot of the focus this week on recruiting, assistant coaches Joe Barry, James Cregg, John Morton and Willie Mack Garza missed practice because they were out on the recruiting trail.

- Kiffin said that the Trojans relied more on the passing game against Cal because of the health issues at the tailback spot, but he hopes that will change as they go forward.

"Hopefully we will get the guys back and we will be more balanced," he said.

- Kiffin praised the play of senior wide receiver Ronald Johnson, saying that he and Robert Woods are very similar because not only are they great with the ball in their hands, but they also do the little things that don't always show up the box score.

"They play so hard and make so many blocks and down the field hustle plays that have nothing to do with their stats," Kiffin said. "I wish we had him more than one year."


Ronald Johnson is having a solid senior season for USC. (Jaime Rodriguez Photo)


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