Fall Camp Day Three: Notes & Quick Hits

The Trojans put on pads for the first time and played through the afternoon heat in Los Angeles on Wednesday as fall camp rolls on...

Defense Dominates Day Three

On the unofficial scorecard, USC's offense won the first two days of camp, but day three belonged to the defense.

"I thought that the defense probably outplayed the offense today," affirmed head coach Lane Kiffin.

And it wasn't just the "normal guys", cornerback Nickell Robey and safety T.J. McDonald, doing the work.

"I think if you're looking for a defensive MVP," said Kiffin, "so far outside of the names you would think like Nickell and TJ and those type of guys, Demetrius Wright so far has had a great camp on special teams and defense."

Kiffin says the junior safety came into camp with a phenomenal attitude and a great approach to the game, thus making plays.

"It's great to see a guy going into his third year who seems to have really turned the corner," said Kiffin.

Wright shined on Wednesday, picking off a Matt Barkley pass during afternoon practice.

Flournoy Would Win It

If a number three receiver had to be picked today, there's no doubt in Kiffin's mind it would be redshirt junior De'Von Flournoy because of his knowledge for the game.

"Flournoy again is having, just like spring, he's doing really well and is very consistent," said Kiffin.

Flournoy could also be the standout for the third spot because sophomore receiver George Farmer hasn't been able to show what he's capable of, after being sidelined for two consecutive practices nursing the sore hamstring he originally aggravated in March.

"With anybody, if they're not out here it's hard to figure out how they fit in," Kiffin explained. "We've seen some great flashes when he's been healthy, unfortunately that hasn't been that often and it's not his fault."

As for freshman Nelson Agholor, well, that's just it. He's still a freshman. His trajectory may be through the roof, but it will continue to take time for Agholor to learn the playbook and adjust to college football.

Losing the Line

Wednesday was only day three of fall camp, but if the Trojans continue to lose lineman at this pace they'll be out of bodies by the end of week two.

On day one, center Khaled Holmes took to the sideline to nurse an injury and has remained limited in practice since then.

Shortly after practice started on day three he had company and sophomore left tackle Aundrey Walker joined him.

Due to a new team policy this fall, Kiffin will no longer address injury status, leaving it to speculation.

Neither Holmes nor Walker look as though they will be out for any extended period

In the meantime, senior center Abe Markowitz has taken over for Holmes and redshirt sophomore Nate Guertler stepped in Wednesday to replace Walker.

While Kiffin won't discuss injuries, he will entertain hypotheticals.

"If Aundrey were out for awhile, Nate would be there right now, you could flop Kevin (Graf) back over there cause he's had some reps over there," Kiffin said. "But I would say if you did it today that Nate would be over there probably because it's not like if you flop Kevin you have a right tackle, so you'd be double swapping."

That sounds straight forward enough.

Backup Quarterback Race is On

Kiffin didn't have to name a backup quarterback coming out of spring ball.

But he figures he will have to at some point during fall camp.

"I would foresee having a number two," he explained. "I wouldn't know how to do it the other way with reps because there's just not many reps to go around for backups once you get to the season, so I would think we'll have a number two."

Redshirt freshmen Cody Kessler and Max Wittek continue to alternate turns in the backup role and both continue to make their case to be Barkley's backup.

"I think Max has gotten bigger and stronger in the offseason," Kiffin explained. "Cody has really improved on a big area of concern which was lengthening his stride and getting away from the line of scrimmage, being one of the shorter guys we've had before. So it's good to see and you can tell they've both improved."

Both looked strong on day three. Kessler however did throw a pick right into the hands of linebacker Dion Bailey as 11 on 11 drills were winding down.

Quick Hits:

Wednesday marked the first practice of fall camp in pads for the Trojans.

Center Khaled Holmes was dressed in pads, but limited in practice only making a few snaps.

Receiver Robert Woods continues to be limited at practice.

Receiver George Farmer did not practice.

Safety Demetrius Wright picked Matt Barkley. Linebacker Dion Bailey picked Cody Kessler.

During 7 on 7 drills, receiver Marqise Lee made a leaping catch in the end zone over both cornerback Nickell Robey and safety T.J. McDonald.

The Trojans will be scrimmaging Friday in the Coliseum, Kiffin hasn't decided if they will tackle.

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