With the preparations for top-ranked Oregon all but complete, the Trojans went through a brief, light practice Thursday designed to get players rested and ready for game day.
"We've had a long time to prepare for this game," USC coach Lane Kiffin said. "We've physically have taxed our players over the last two weeks and it's time really to turn it more toward the mental focus.
"I guess it's like training for a marathon and then not going anything for two days before. That's what it feels like. Now it's time to rest and make sure we have our legs back for a marathon."
Defensive end Nick Perry and offensive tackle Tyron Smith were held out of practice, while linebackers Malcolm Smith and Devon Kennard were limited.
Smith has been dealing with an ankle injury since the loss at Stanford, but started against Cal and looks ready to do so against the Ducks.
"I was ready to practice today, but Coach Kiffin wanted me to stay off of it," Smith said.
Perry has been limited all season long by a sprained ankle and was not at practice Wednesday. While he declined to provide details regarding his absence, he declared himself ready to start.
"I'm good. I'm ready to go Saturday," Perry said. "We're ready to go as a defense. We've been prepared two weeks. I think we have a good plan to come in there and get a win."
Kiffin did not say whether Perry or Wes Horton would start Saturday. Horton has missed the last three games with a back injury he suffered at Washington State.
"It really won't matter on defense who starts in this game because everybody we've got is going to need to play at some point," Kiffin said.
-Defensive tackle Da'John Harris was not at practice for unspecified reasons.
Kiffin said he was fine and ready to play.
-Kiffin downplayed defensive tackle Jurrell Casey's comments regarding Oregon's offense.
"They have a good running back and a good quarterback. Other than that, they're really not that good," Casey told ESPNLA.com.
Said Kiffin: "I told him that he reminded me of when I coached Sapp. He said what he said. I don't think it matters what you say with these guys. Whether you say something or not, you're going to have your hands full with these guys."
-Tight end Blake Ayles had two critical drops at Oregon last season on passes that could have been touchdowns.
After posting a 54-yard reception against Cal before exiting early after a blow to the head, the junior wants to redeem himself.
"Yeah, the though is always in the back of my mind, but it's just coming out having a good week of practice last week, keeping it going this week and seeing how it goes in the game," Ayles said.
-With a chance for showers Saturday morning, Kiffin said that could help both high-powered offenses.
"People assume rain is always an advantage to the defense and it's really not," he said. "If it rains before the game and then stops near kickoff, it becomes an advantage for the offense if you use it right because you know where you're going."