Quoting Kiffin: Second Scrimmage in Coliseum

USC head coach Lane Kiffin talks after the Trojans' second scrimmage in The Coliseum.

--"Okay, coming in I don't think there were many surprises injury-wise same guys as you're used to that would have been out coming in, except for Brice Butler, woke up with some issues with his knee. So we held him and Marcus Martin with a low back. Otherwise guy that weren't anticipating to not play did not play and during the game Curtis McNeal came out with a knee, [Brandon] Carswell with both quads, Lamar Dawson with a neck, D.J. Morgan with a knee, Robbie Boyer with a back, Kevin Graf with an ankle and Marqise Lee with a back as well. I thought the defense played well, started a little bit slow but after that did some good things and caused some issues with the first team pass-rush. WithNick Perry and Wes Horton doing a good job there. I thought some freshmen showed up and a lot of freshmen did normal freshmen things, made a bunch of mistakes. So once again the guys that are showing up that says a lot, that they're at that point right now. Obviously headlined by Marqise Lee, playing extremely well, gotta work on his ball security but fast in practice especially over the last few days and really showed up today, did some really good things. I think that the two backup quarterbacks played very well, Cody went 14 and 21 again so some good numbers there and Max had some bad lucks with some drops or else I think all three quarterbacks' numbers would have ended up being efficient. Abnormal number of drops I think it affected those numbers."

(On whether Kiffin was happy with Barkley's performance)
--"I think for the most part, until you go back to see the film, I think he played well. He also suffered from some drops, putting some young guys in there with him that weren't lining up, doing the right things around him, so hopefully we'll get healthy here we'll try to figure things out a little bit more, we'll get Robert [Woods] back and get the same guys in with him more often."

(On how Curtis McNeal's injury looks)
--"I don't know that. Hopefully not that serious."

(On whether the secondary has been solidified yet)
--"I think we knew the two spots, they only played the first half, in Nickell [Robey] and T.J. [McDonald] so we don't have any concerns there. We're trying to figure out the other two spots. Jawanza [Starling] not being able to go today didn't help that…I thought Torin Harris showed up today, on a number of plays, including tackling, which is something that we're emphasizing with him, so hopefully he'll continue to be consistent, this was really his first time back with contact for a while with the concussion."

(On whether anyone impressed at guard today)
--I don't think so. We'll see on the film, but I didn't feel or look like anybody played well at guard so we'll go back and see."

(On whether a starting tailback has been decided)
--"No too quick, until we go back and see the film, to quick to make any changes there. I thought Curtis [McNeal] was running well before he got hurt, doing good things. Dillon's put together three good days in a row, by far his best week since he's been here and it showed. So it's good to see someone doing things right in practice, off the field and then it pay off here. Sometimes they do it and it doesn't pay off and they fumble or something so to see that coming together hopefully that excites him and makes him want to continue down that road because he's had a very good week."

(On Xavier Grimble/Randall Telfer/tight end situation)
--"Well they're both really athletic, they're both really, really talented players. Randall [Telfer] had a couple drops today, Xavier [Grimble] made a nice play on third down. Both of them have a lot of potential, just got to get them better, they both never played, which is great for us, they both have four years of eligibility."

(On whether it's tough to jump to conclusions with Woods and Butler out)
--"I don't know. Those guys aren't going to solve what's going on up front. If we don't play better in the interior offensive line it's not going to help that much so we've got to continue to improve there, just disappointed in the inconsistency of what's going on and I would hope at this point we'd be improving up there and I don't know that we did. Very disappointed when the second half-you start the second half with the "ones" even though we'd already taken Khaled [Holmes] out and Matt [Kalil] out, it's still those are supposed to be the best guys out we put the "threes" in against them so those guys could work on their cuts and outside zone and we went three and out, that's pretty discouraging."

(On what is the biggest problem on the offensive line)
Consistency. Like, same story, center and left tackle are playing well, right tackle was a little shaky today, he needs to do better, gave up a sack and had one or two false starts there so these guys need to continue to improve and figure out the guards, they're just not consistent. Aundrey, it's kind of expected of Aundrey [Walker] for a guy that not only is a true freshman but just moved positions, well five days ago, so hopefully they'll continue to improve."

(On any indication if George Farmer or Marqise Lee are going to play on special teams)
Not at all we're just looking at those guys. We have a very good problem in that we have a lot of special athletes at every turnability, headlined by Nickell [Robey] and Robert [Woods] so we want to make sure that we're looking at those others guys and figure out can those guys help us in those situations because they're very talented guys."

(On how Kiffin compares the kicker Andre Heidari to last year's kickers)
--"We think we're ahead field goal-wise, we'll see when it counts. He's kicked extremely well all through camp so we'll see. And we feel okay about where the punting is going so we will hone in on that a little more in the next two weeks."

(On whether Kyle Negrete is ahead in the punting competition)
--"Probably a little bit."

(On if team is game-ready yet)
--"No. We're a long ways away. We wouldn't have played very well today on offense if that were a real game so we got a long ways to go, a lot of work to do, headlined by the guards and the backup receivers. We need, Soma [Vainuku] has got to start playing. He's our second-team fullback and once Rhett [Ellison] goes to tight end, he's our first team. We really need him in the groove."

(On whether Kiffin was pleased with Kyle Prater's performance)
--"Yeah I was. I was. He did some things. He was banged up with a shoulder and kept competing in there. Once again there's another guy who's never played college football. It's a good problem to have, you guys continue to ask about guys that haven't played before, so that's good for us."


USCFootball.com Top Stories