Quoting Kiffin: Beginning Bears Preparation

While still on the bye week, the Trojans used Friday's practice as its first in preparation for USC's Thursday game against the California Bears. Hear from USC head coach Lane Kiffin on recruiting trips, George Uko, George Farmer and more.

"So I feel like we're getting close to full strength. Lamar [Dawson] did some things today, Amir [Carlisle] did some things, those [guys] will be great to have them back, we've missed them lately since they've been out. They add some depth to both their positions and some reps and Torin Harris didn't practice so hopefully he will be back when we resume practice on Sunday. Because obviously we need him in there as well."

"As far as the practice, I thought it was good, long, hard, physical, another day of full pads practice. And so now they'll have a day off and we'll get back to work so it's great for the staff and for the players to be ahead. We just completed a 'Tuesday' practice when normally we'd be having comeback last night from a road game and going over film so it's great to be ahead."

(On whether coaches will be recruiting this weekend)
--"Yeah we have some this week. Guys have gone out at night to some games. Ted [Gilmore] went out nationally, and then we'll do some more tonight and then junior college [visits] Saturday, as well."

(On whether Kiffin personally will go out recruiting)
--"No we're not going to use my trip yet to go see people. We film everything so I get to watch everything as well and then as soon as the last game [for USC] is over, that's when we'll start using all my visits up."

(On whether Kiffin watched the Cal-Oregon game last night)
--"I did. I thought it was, I thought they played great through the half and into the third quarter. Obviously a tough environment to play versus a very explosive offense and what happened is what happens in most Oregon games over the last couple years. Somehow Oregon gets stronger as the game goes in the second half, especially on defense. As you go back to last year, so few points given up in the fourth quarter on defense. They do a great job. And they've done a great job at recruiting depth so they play a bunch of players. If you start taking off their reps, they get a ton of guys in their on offense and on defense and so obviously that contributes to what they're able to do late in the third and the fourth quarter."

(On whether Kiffin can pinpoint Cal's weaknesses)
--"I don't know. Last year they were way up there in pass-defense and pass efficiency defense. It happens in cycles when you lose some players and especially it's hard to come back from a game kind of like what we had early, with the Hawaii game, the numbers were so lopsided your stats-it takes a little while to come back down from that. So their Colorado game really screwed up their passing stats but they're doing a great job against the run, for the most part. They're very physical up front. The safeties tackle well. They put Stefan McClure in there and he seemed to do alright at times so I'm sure they're excited about getting more reps for a true freshman."

(On the advantage USC has having a bye and Cal just wrapped a tough road trip)
--"Well I hope it's an advantage. You'd like to think it is. You'd like to think that we have a little bit more time to rest and you know we've had days now where we've been preparing for this. So where they're landing last night probably at three in the morning, getting back [where] we already have our first and second down [practice] done. We'll see. You never know. There's a reason that everyone doesn't win every game off a bye. Just because you have more time doesn't make you win the game but it's good to have."

(On the offensive line improving)
--"I don't know. It's up and down. Once again you got to take into account about the game that you're playing. That wasn't the Arizona game, their strength coming in was not a big, aggressive front four dominating. I think they're 119th or something coming into the game. You got to take that into account. In all our evaluations of our positions, our players and our units and our teams, we want to take everything into account just not look at one game and one opponent. Just like what i referred to the other day about Arizona State, so many things about the quarterback [Matt Barkley] is 'no good, he's not a first-round pick' and he's right back to being great. So it's somewhere in the middle and same with the offensive line. I hope we're not as bad as we've played in Arizona State, probably not as good as we played in Arizona."

(On whether there is a general progression with the offensive line)
--"I don't know. At times we have but we still, the right guard is playing better, and the right tackle and left guard have to step it up and play better. And the center and left tackle are playing really well."

(On George Uko's general performance)
--"I thought he's doing really well. Because of the other guys in there, he's obviously not starting [or] getting as much reps as he would if he was a starter but I thought he's done well at times in there. Like anything, still a [redshirt] freshman, so there's a learning curve and he's screwed up a little bit when he's in there, with some assignments. But he'll be a really, really good player in there for us like a lot of guys in that class."

(On whether Uko has more potential sacking than the other defensive tackles)
--"I don't know. Da'John [Harris] has done really well at that. Christian [Tupou] is kind of more of a run stopper not as much pass rusher where Da'John is more of a pass rusher so [Uko] is kind of a mixture of both."

(On whether Farmer's redshirt is under reconsideration)
--"Yeah we got to look at it this week and see where we're at, now that he's fully healthy and he's doing some good things out here so we'll spend the week to figure that out."

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