Notebook: Robey remembers a special day

With five members of his family there to see him play, corner Nickell Robey leads Trojans out of the tunnel and leaves with a game ball.

LOS ANGELES – Nickell Robey left the Coliseum as he entered, with a smile on his face and boundless energy.

Only this time he was carrying a game ball.

It was recognition from USC head coach Lane Kiffin for the special significant this day held for Robey. On his late mother Maxine's birthday, the sophomore cornerback from Frostproof, Fla. played with five members of his family in attendance.

"We won this game for my mom," said Robey, who had three tackles and one pass breakup.

Robey's mother passed away shortly after he signed his letter of intent.

Asked last week to describe her, Robey said, "To make a long story short, she was a great lady.

"A lot of people just say she raised some great kids and they respect her for that. Everybody just know that she was a caring lady and she loved everybody period."

Robey led the team out of the tunnel and many players cited his extra energy and enthusiasm with helping the team get through a long week of practices that included a rare Monday session.

"I felt like I had an S on my chest," he said. "I got my team behind me. I knew we was ready to play."

Robey's sister, cousin, aunt, uncle and grandmother will stay through Monday, but the plan after the game was for a little family time.

"They ain't too much into sightseeing and all that stuff," he said. "They just came here to see me, see me play football. They love the Trojans. That's all they care about."

Kalil Delivers Again
When running back Curtis McNeal exploded for a 79-yard touchdown, it came running behind left tackle Matt Kalil. So too did his two long touchdowns against Stanford, the benefit of having a likely top-five NFL draft pick.

"We've come to expect that from him," center Khaled Holmes said. "We're a little bit spoiled having such a great left tackle like that. Every time we see one of those runs break, we kind of expect it."

"Matt is the best left tackle in the country, if not best lineman," quarterback Matt Barkley said. "With his athleticism, the way he can turn an edge is a great advantage for us."

MASH Unit
Safety T.J. McDonald left the game with what a USC official termed a migraine. Kiffin said during his post-game press conference that the junior was dealing with blurry vision in the first half.

Defensive tackle Christian Tupou said his surgically-repaired left knee became swollen after he landed awkwardly on it, but he was able to remain in the game.

Wide receiver Marqise Lee needed IV fluids during the week because of the flu, Kiffin said.

Running back George Farmer returned to action after missing two games with a high-ankle sprain and played mostly on special teams.

Cornerback Torin Harris (shoulder) and defensive tackle DaJohn Harris (ankle) did not play.

Washington quarterback Keith Price hurt his knee while being sacked in the end zone for a safety and was pulled midway through the third quarter.

Woods Watch
Sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods was limited to two receptions for five yards, by far his worst production of the season.

His previous low had been at California, when Woods caught five passes for 35 yards.

Still, Woods now has 92 receptions for 1,126 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.


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