Quoting Kiffin: 7/7 Fall Practice

The Trojans' head coach gives his opinion on how his team is shaping up after a week of Fall practices.

--"J.R. Tavai rested with a hamstring [injury], Christian [Tupou] rested with his knee [rehabilitation] and is not a major issue, Torin Harris has a concussion and we'll continue to test him, Brian Baucham [has an issue with his] hamstring, Gio [Di Poalo]'s shoulder still and Cody Temple is still out. [Because of] Christian Thomas's hip we held him out."

--"In anticipation for tomorrow morning we don't have any walk-throughs just meetings. Guys will finish up "summer two" (the second session of USC's summer classes) and then tomorrow night will be their first big test at 7 o'clock in The Coliseum. We'll treat that like a real game, which is a little bit different than what we've done here in the past. We'll tackle the entire time probably be over there three hours and you know, see where we're at."

(On where does Kiffin think the Trojans are at)
--"I don't know because we haven't really tackled and that's obviously a big part of the game. It'll be interesting to put guys our guys in full [gear and watch] speed [and] decision making and we'll see. I think we're better on defense but we'll find out."

(On cutting any members of the team)
--"For the most part we won't. At times, in these types of things, we may put in our third defensive front just because of the cut blocks can be so dangerous."

(On what guys he looks forward to seeing play in pads)
--"In general that would be any guys that haven't played. Whether that's all the true freshmen or guys that redshirted or guys coming back from injury. Guys that we haven't really been to battle with out there on the field so it's really big for all of them, [but] especially those guys."

(On how he thought the offense responded today after the defense outplayed them Saturday?)
--"It was good, it was better. Huge emphasis over the last 24 hours about turnovers after five interceptions. You go the whole game until the last play there which was kind of, we were just going on a deep ball emphasis so we wouldn't have done that normally so the quarterbacks were a lot better in that, led by Matt [Barkley]."

(On is Kiffin seeing any young guys hit a wall)
--"Yeah that's going to happen no matter what, even the kids--your Robert Woods or Nickell Robey--they all hit it, no matter what. It's just not high school. They're so much stuff that goes into it, so many little tips and reminders. So they're all hitting it, some hit it harder than others. Those guys that break through and keep plugging away are the guys that are going to play for us."

--"I think they're doing well. The injury list is still 'okay' so we'll keep up with this and they'll come a point obviously where we'll slow down, that fourth week, but it's too important for us to maintain this tempo and this type of energy for our team."

(On not having Trojan Time today)
--"No because of the game. It'll be a real game so that's why we're in an afternoon session here and then tomorrow night so we have over 24 hours off right now, off our feet. We still have a bunch of meetings though."

(On how much of the playbook Kiffin is running right now?)
--"Not much. We're through four days of install, we don't install on day five so, I don't know, 25 percent."

(On separation among the running backs)
--"No. Amir [Carlisle] is standing out, continues to every day. I don't think there's a lot of separation because that position is so much based off real game stuff. Receivers there's not a whole lot of difference, sometimes quarterbacks in certain things but running backs, you know, how are they going to pass protect when it's live, how are they going to hold onto the ball, how are they going to take it if they have to carry 15, 20 times tomorrow night."

(On whether Kiffin will use tightend Rhett Ellison at fullback)
--"That will depend on the development of the whole team, and injuries. How do the two freshmen behind him at that position develop, how do the freshmen at the tightend position develop? So that's why he's there. We already know he's a really good tightend. We want to make him a really good fullback so we have the ability to do all those things for us at any time."

(On Matt Barkley/Khaled Holmes working together)
--"Under center is okay we've got some work to do in shotgun. We need to continue to work on that, we'll spend more time than normal in the shotgun just because him not having the background."

(On whether he would have a problem with tailback Amir Carlisle starting)
--"No. I mean today I would because we haven't seen him get tackled. But he goes through these preseason games and holds onto the ball and knows his assignments and plays well, then [I'll have] no issues at all. We don't have any issues about playing freshmen if they're the best guy regardless of where it's at."


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