Quoting Kiffin: Bye Week Wednesday

Speaking after a rainy Wednesday practice at Cromwell Field, USC head coach Lane Kiffin shares his thoughts on the value of the bye week and moving freshman George Farmer to running back.

-Opening Statement
"Really last true bye week practice as far as not preparing at all for Cal and just focusing on ourselves, similar to yesterday. It was good. They came out in full pads again, worked hard, a lot of individual, a lot of hitting. And the weather was good for us to have. We haven't really dealt with bad weather much, so it was good especially for our skill guys to have to work in this with obviously a possibility of that coming up with a couple road games on our schedule. It was good to get through this. No major injuries today and hopefully we get healthy and now everything from here on out will go towards Cal."

-On the value of the bye week
"A lot. To get some other guys some looks, but really to let guys now really start getting healthy. They basically had, outside of treatment and lifting, two days off after the game. Now they'll have another one off tomorrow, so it's good. It's really good for us because we haven't really had any breaks like that a lot this year."

-On freshman George Farmer
"It really says a lot about him, to sprain his ankle yesterday and come back out today. I wish all our guys did that. Kind of the third Serra guy that's like that. Now we're getting to see they get hurt, they just come out and practice. I think there are a lot of receivers like Robert, leading the country in catches and yards, would come out here with his sore ankle and try and take the week off. It's really just another example of those three. They have been coached extremely well to play through injuries and also to obviously really love football."

-On whether he considered resting wide receiver Robert Woods this week
"Yeah, I did. He'll get some rest time coming up here, but just through it was too important, especially as a message to the team. Here is arguably our best player and he's out here going through everything in the rain trying to get better. I thought it was a great message."

-On Farmer's early struggles
"That's the norm. What happens with George happens to almost all these kids around the country. I've said before, you probably only get 5 to 7 unique true freshman stories around the country where guys come in and make major, major impacts, like Robert did last year. George is more similar. Once they get some time in the system, they get comfortable, the pressure is off of them, you see what you saw in high school."

-On how natural Farmer seems to be at running back
"I was surprised, having not played running back for a while for him to go back there and looked pretty natural doing it, which says a lot about what an athlete that he is. If we could ever get that where he was a real running back with that size and speed, we know what he can do outside. There aren't many people like that ever that run 10.4 and you can put out there and play receiver, you know he can do that. If you could do this at running back too, it would be a nightmare match-up issue for people."

-On moving Ross Cumming to fullback
"I wish we had done it earlier. It's just an example of a guy staying around here, understanding the systems, understanding techniques. What we teach on special teams can really carry over to offense and defense, sometimes regardless of position, and Ross is a great example of that to be able to step in and contribute."

-On whether Cumming was supposed to catch a fourth-down pass against Arizona
"He's the fourth option there. He's not way up there on the ladder, but really good job by him staying alive on the sideline and Matt's progression to be able to get to the fourth guy was big."

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