Quoting Kiffin: First Scrimmage in Coliseum

The Trojans' head coach gives his opinion on how his team is beginning to look after the team's first scrimmage this fall in the Coliseum.

--"Okay in general very up and down [night]. Offense had a very good first drive and then didn't do a lot the rest of the first half. Defense came back after that first drive, played extremely well. I think what you saw probably in general is what usually happens. Unfortunately you get a lot of hyped freshmen that come in here, they're excited for their first time in here coming down the tunnel and can't line up, make mistakes. That's why it was so important to have these games like this, because we need some of these guys to play for us, as opposed to just go through a normal scrimmage. We put them in this format so they get it out of their system and make any mistakes that they did, make freshmen mistakes. So we work these out of our system, hopefully, and find some of those guys who can help us play."

--"I thought on defense Jawanza Starling early on really showed up with some big hits which is exactly what we need him to do, tackle better like he did today. And Dion Bailey back-to-back interceptions…as far as moving him down to linebacker, getting a more athletic guy there helping the pass game. So defense is what stood out. At halftime we took out, as already scheduled before…Devon Kennard, Nick Perry, Wes Horton, Christian Tupou, T.J. McDonald and Nickell Robey and Chris Galippo. So we got a chance to see some other guys play during the second half."

--"On offense I thought Amir Carlisle then showed up again. Brice Butler showed up, it was great to see. Kyle Prater looked like a freshmen so some good things to work on but obviously we have a lot of work to do."

(On whether Demetrius Wright's injury was serious)
--"It looked like one. Kind of put everybody in the tank there for a little bit but just a hip pointer …fortunately, so that was great news."

--"I thought Cody [Kessler] played really well. I think what speaks for probably what he is, which is a gamer. He's not the guy that walks on the field in warmups and blows you away. There's been a lot of guys like that that have been great quarterbacks and so he was a great high school quarterback and he showed it again today, with great numbers today. And a lot of that has to do with his work ethic, the way he approaches the game. He's very, very mature in his approach to being great."

--"Dillon [Baxter] looked good, he didn't have a lot of, giant holes, guys took care of the ball. Dillon is right where we want him to be, he's completely changed off the field around us, his approach to the game by being early, not been an issue one time for the people downstairs all summer, not been an issue for us all camp. So hopefully that maintains and he's bigger, stronger, faster so it's good."

--"We've been very hard on Dillon for obvious reasons. But I give Dillon credit. Dillon has responded in all areas. He's doing things the Trojan way. He's doing things right off the field and on and he's responded by finishing on the sidelines better, by being a one-cut runner which is what you have to do in college football. You can't do the highschool stuff anymore, so he's been really good this camp."

(On whether Dillon Baxter has that starting tailback spot)
I wouldn't say he's necessarily leading you know we started D.J. [Morgan] today. If we were to play right now and we were going into our second game we'd probably start based off D.J. putting the ball on the ground early on like that, but they're very close. And Amir as you see continues to do things right. He did not come in here and do what a lot of the other freshmen did which was make mistakes."

(On whether Kyle is sticking to short-yardage receptions)
--"Not necessarily. Kyle can hopefully develop into the big X's that have been here before that kind of do everything, they make plays down the field, short stuff. He came out here and did what freshmen do, drop stuff, ran the wrong route, so he'll get better."

(On early impressions for who would take the guard spots)
--"Probably to hard to tell. I know that we struggled on the right side, in pass protection there on third down, gave up a sack on 3rd and 10. So that's going to be something we're going to have to work on—not just with the guards but the right side in general."

(On whether Aundrey Walker is getting more looks at right guard)
--"I don't know that yet. We're going to go back and see where we're at after this game. Take everything into account. And that will also depend on how well the guards played in there too, whether we leave [Walker] at tackle or put him at the competition inside."

(On how he felt Barkley performed)
--"I thought there was a disappointing play that sticks out. He tries to throw the slug over here to towards the right in the first half, kind of back to frustration of not having great success. He's totally different than everybody else. You saw, we took him out at halftime, he had four penalties, one serious three of them procedure. You see the line but there's a lot that comes to that. His command of the offense is very good."

(On tightend Xavier Grimble not playing today)
--"Xavier his neck was bothering him, really tight, this morning the X-ray was negative."


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