Quoting Kiffin: Pre-Scrimmage Quotes

USC head coach Lane Kiffin talks after the Trojans' Saturday practice.

--"Anticipation of not today but anticipation of what's going to go on tomorrow, we anticipate everybody being able to play except for Kusnir, J.R. Tavai, Armond Armstead, Marshall Jones, Cody Temple, D.J. Morgan, Christian Thomas, De'Von Flournoy and George Farmer. I think, we're projecting that everybody else will be able to go tomorrow which was a big goal of ours to push guys out there because this is really the last big test physically for our guys. The only guy in there that probably surprises you is George Farmer, got a concussion and they're retesting him in the morning but usually they don't clear them this fast."

(On Junior Pomee not being dressed the past couple days)
--"Yeah because he came late there's a certain amount of days he can and can't, he started later, and so he will be good tomorrow. He just couldn't go today and yesterday."

(On when George Farmer got a concussion)

(On how Kiffin feels about the defense in general)
--"Well I think, and I say I think because I don't know for sure, but I think and feel like we're ahead [than] where we were. Going back and watching things at this same time a year ago, trying to get a feel for where we are as offense, defense, special teams, from a year ago at the same time, we look a lot better as far as knowing what we're doing and getting lined up. Second year in the system, and we haven't moved guys around very much because we know them a little better. Last year we were messing with stuff, guys at different positions because we didn't know the guys. So I think we're ahead."

(On the physicality of the defense change from last year)
--"Yeah I think we'll know tomorrow, [it] will show us. I feel like it. Obviously we've done more tackling and more live stuff so hopefully that will pay off and hopefully we can continue to keep guys not from long-term injuries. Tomorrow will be great, to be 26 hours from now for standing here without anything to report would be great. "

(On whether tomorrow will be the last hitting scrimmage for the Trojans)
--"Yes number four will be more mental than physical."

(On whether Sunday's scrimmage will be the biggest determinant of some starting roles)
--"Yeah I think that's fair. Still everything in due counts and that week will be important, there may be some things too close to call but I think whether or not we announce them or not I doubt we'll do that. But I think as a staff we'll have a much better direction of who we're pushing in certain spots."

(On the AP poll ranking USC number 25)
--"I didn't even know that. As you guys know being around here that's not something I concern myself with especially preseason it doesn't mean anything and it won't mean anything at all for us, this season so it doesn't matter. Hopefully we'll go down because last year we were winning and going down. So if we're going down maybe it will be a good thing."

(On if USC went undefeated, it could win the AP national title)
--"We're so far from ever thinking about that… We don't even know whose going to be at right and left guard right now so the last thing we're worried about is 14 weeks from now where we are in a poll."

(On Amir Carlisle's progression)
--"Well I thought he had a great day yesterday. He was banged up for a while, and pretty sore and beat up but fought through I thought yesterday. Guys, they just, go after him and he just gets up and keeps going. Has done a surprisingly well job for a small guy in short-yardage situations."

(On which freshmen have mentally stood out)
--"I think Lamar Dawson to play that spot as a middle linebacker and everything that goes with that has really done a phenomenal job. Made a couple just unique, unique athletic plays yesterday that most guys can't make, especially at his size so he's really impressed us in what he's done and then Amir Carlisle has been phenomenal kind of a Robert Woods-type story as far as preparation and not making mistakes."

(On Jawanza Starling getting more looks at that second safety spot in recent weeks)
--"Yeah he's doing better. Some of it has been T.J. [McDonald] has been out at times too so we've tried to play both and rotate guys through. And Drew McAllister has made some plays. And so, with Marshall [Jones] out, that's more reps for guys and you know we'll see. He's doing better. His deal is, these games coming up, he missed the last game, our medical staff didn't let him go. So this will be big for him."

(On whether Kiffin thinks the backup quarterback spot will be decided by tomorrow)
--"Probably not. We'll just keep plugging away and so if it solves itself and so it's a good thing. I'm not concerned about who's the two and who's the three because they're both doing so well. I think either of them could be the two right now, which is surprising. "

(On moving Khaled Holmes during the offseason to center)
--"Great I think the two, one of defense and one on offense, really two on defense [with] Dion [Bailey] going down to [linebacker from] safety but Devon [Kennard] going down to end and Khaled [Holmes] going to center really has made us extremely functional compared to where we would be. Very smart, helps out these young guards playing next to him, makes all the calls, really has done a great, great job mentally."

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