Tuesday Practice Report

After last year's thrashing at Autzen Stadium, USC linebacker Chris Galippo has a better understanding of the fast-paced Ducks offense.

Tempo Unparalleled

There isn't any way to really prepare for the speed with which the Oregon offense operates until the opposition lines up against them on game day.

The Ducks come at the defense like ocean waves, quickly getting to the line to scrimmage to run plays just seconds after the previous one ended.

Despite ranking in the bottom seven nationally in time of possession, they have run 543 plays this season.

That's what USC will have to deal with this week.

And after terrorizing the Trojans on Halloween night last season, here's the real scare: they're playing even faster.

"It's not even close," USC coach Lane Kiffin said. "They're much better in the system and they are playing faster. We average the same per play as Oregon does but you wouldn't know it because of the play difference.

"I've never seen a team play at that tempo."

Cornerback Shareece Wright, who did not play at Autzen Stadium last year while academically ineligible, said that approach has helped the Ducks jump out to their 7-0 start.

"They emphasize that more. I feel like they won a lot of games because of that, because of their fast pace," Wright said.

USC worked mostly no-huddle last week in an attempt to get the defense ready, but has largely scaled back those efforts so far in the build-up to Saturday's much-anticipated showdown.

Linebacker Chris Galippo said the experience of 2009's 47-20 shellacking is actually better preparation than trying to duplicate what Oregon does with the scout team.

"The good thing about playing them last year, as bad as the outcome was, we've got about six or seven guys that understand what it takes to be in that game and play against that offense and know what it feels like to be dog tired and think and adjust on the run," he said.

And while conventional logic might be that USC needs to take the air out of the ball and keep the Ducks off the field to win, Kiffin disagrees.

"The key against anybody, but especially these guys, is you got to score. You can slow it down, but slowing it down doesn't do any good if you don't score," he said.

Injuries Aplenty

Linebacker Malcolm Smith, running backs Dillon Baxter and C.J. Gable did not practice Tuesday, while running back Allen Bradford was limited.

The Trojans also got scares when Wright, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and running back Marc Tyler suffered injuries during practice.

Tyler landed hard on his backside during the team period and stayed down for several minutes. After practice, however, the redshirt junior was all smiles and said he was fine after aggravating a previous injury.

Hot Reads

-Kiffin, part of the USC coaching staff during its 34-game streak as the top-ranked team in college football, is enjoying a chance to see life from the other side.

"Usually it was the other way around. Part of it is kind of neat to be on the other side, be the underdog coming into a game like this and have all the pressure on them to be the number one team in the country," he said.

Saturday's game will mark the first time the Trojans have hosted the No. 1 team in the nation in more than 20 years.

Notre Dame was atop the polls in 1988 when they defeated No. 2 USC, 27-10.

-Quarterback Matt Barkley on the Trojans' own no-huddle offense: "We don't have poster boards with TV announcers on them or anything like that, but we're still moving the ball at a fast tempo and it seems to work for us."

USCFootball.com Top Stories