Wednesday Practice Report

While Matt Kalil has yet to practice this week because of a sprained ankle, the redshirt sophomore is ready for a stiff test from Arizona's standout defensive ends.

Kalil Nearly Ready
Offensive tackle Matt Kalil has yet to practice this week because of a sprained ankle, but should be ready to go Thursday.

The redshirt sophomore was hurt against Arizona State but tests revealed no significant problems.

"I had to get a little scan, see if everything is all right and I'm all good," Kalil said. "I'm cleared to go tomorrow."

Kalil and right tackle Tyron Smith will be tested by Arizona's tandem of standout defensive ends, Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore.

The redshirt seniors have combined for 13.5 sacks this season and the Wildcats are ranked second in the conference in getting to the quarterback.

"This is going to be the most challenged we are as tackles, me and Tyron," Kalil said. "These are really good guys, high motor guys. They are probably the best we'll face all year.

"They keep going until the whistle blows, which I respect about them."

Jones Fares Well
Safety Marshall Jones didn't fill up the stat line against Arizona State, with a half tackle for loss and two pass breakups, but defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza came away impressed.

"He played extremely well," Garza said. "He made a lot of key plays. On third down situations, they kept going at him with the number three guy in man coverage and he kept getting pass breakups and getting us off the field."

The Trojans held the Sun Devils to 4 of 13 on third down.

With Jawanza Starling nursing an undisclosed injury and not yet practicing this week, the redshirt junior from Westlake Village Oaks Christian could be in line to make his first career start.

Garza said Jones' dedication on and off the field carried over to the Coliseum.

"He knew what to do and his opportunity came," Garza said. "He's always very attentive in meetings and asking questions and he works hard when he gets an opportunity in practice. He got out there and he performed."

Praise for Reardon
Redshirt junior Michael Reardon, who made his first career start last week, graded out highest among Trojan offensive linemen against Arizona State.

USC coach Lane Kiffin expanded Tuesday on what Reardon did well replacing Butch Lewis at left guard.

"He was, especially for a first-time starter in our system, very consistent," Kiffin said. "He played with great effort, got guys on the ground and brought an aggressive attitude there. It was really good to see a guy taking advantage of an opportunity after a long time on the bench."

Hot Reads
-Wide receiver Robert Woods (back) was limited, but did his most extensive work to date this week.

"This is the best Robert has looked this week," Kiffin said. "It's good to have him back out here. It's imperative to have him in our offense."

-Kicker Joe Houston continued to struggle with longer field goals, but hit five of eight attempts in practice Wednesday.

-The Wildcat was not deployed against Arizona State because of a combination of factors, including down and distance, Kiffin said.

Said Kiffin: "It just didn't happen."


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