Woods out to exploit Cal's defense, with help

Robert Woods plans to rely on Gardena (Calif.) Serra teammate Paul Richardson, who had 284 yards earlier this season against Cal, for scouting report.

LOS ANGELES – With all the talk about Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and George Farmer, it's sometimes easy to forget there was another highly sought after wide receiver at Gardena (Calif.) Serra in Paul Richardson.

Richardson, a sophomore who ended up at Colorado after an on-campus arrest led UCLA to release him from his letter of intent, caught 11 passes for 284 yards, both school records, and two touchdowns.

Needless to say, Woods plans to connect with his old teammate for a little scouting report.

"I'll text Paul, see what's up with Cal and their defense," Woods said Friday.

Entering this week, the Golden Bears ranked 27th nationally in total defense (314.25 yards per game), but 78th in pass efficiency defense and 79th in passing yards allowed, surrendering 236 yards through the air per game.

Oregon continued that trend Thursday night as quarterback Darron Thomas threw for 198 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in a 43-15 romp. Cal cornerback Marc Anthony suffered a dislocated shoulder during the game, forcing freshman Stefan McClure into action.

USC head coach Lane Kiffin couldn't put his finger on why their otherwise stout defense has struggled to defend the pass.

"Last year they were way up there in pass defense and pass efficiency defense. It just happens in cycles when you lose some players. Their Colorado game really screwed up their passing stats," he said, comparing it to the Trojans' opener last season against Hawaii.

But USC also shredded Cal for 391 yards passing in a 48-14 win. Quarterback Matt Barkley threw for five touchdowns, two to Woods, who finished with seven receptions for 116 yards.

Woods cited his growing comfort in the offense, coming off a 224-yard performance at Stanford, in that effort.

Farmer to Play?
After a strong week of practices since moving to running back, coaches decided to have Farmer wear a more-tailback appropriate No. 8 jersey.

Farmer might be using it in game-action sooner than later, as Kiffin said he will reconsider whether to play him this season after previously announcing his attention to redshirt the touted freshman.

"We got to look at it this week and see where we're at now that he is fully healthy and doing some good things out here. We'll spend the week to figure that out," Kiffin said.

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Farmer hasn't been a full-time running back since Pop Warner football at age 12, but said he is getting comfortable with little things like taking the handoff again.

"As long as I keep playing hard, working hard at it, stay in my playbook, keep watching film, I think I'll be up to par," Farmer said of a potential debut next week.

Quick Hits
-Kiffin said he hoped to have corner Torin Harris (shoulder) back practicing Sunday.

-Linebackers coach Joe Barry said he would like to have freshman linebacker Lamar Dawson (ankle) play 20 to 30 snaps Thursday against Cal. Starting middle linebacker Chris Galippo played all 91 snaps against Arizona, Barry said.


USCFootball.com Top Stories