Fall Camp Day 18: Notes & Quick Hits

A day after USC head coach Lane Kiffin said his Trojans would be sure to practice again in full pads, the team made their way to the practice field dressed in just that and they were ready to tackle.

Getting Physical

USC head coach Lane Kiffin said Wednesday his players weren't done putting on pads before their season opener versus Hawaii and he meant it.

The Trojans showed up to practice Thursday tackling in full pads.

"I thought it was a very physical practice," Kiffin said, "really the last practice of our camp as far as having pads on and being physical. So it was a very long practice a lot of tackling drills, so it was good to see."

It was also necessary.

The Trojans have not dressed in full pads nor have they tackled much during fall camp because of the limited number of healthy bodies they have available.

A final day of tackling practice can also come close to putting to rest any thoughts of the 2010 season, when Kiffin made the decision to hold back on tackling due to a limited number of players and high number of injuries.

He says he is as satisfied as he could be with as much tackling as the team did.

"I think that we're not where we were two years ago in that we were so safe two years ago and that obviously hurt us in our opener and throughout the season," Kiffin explained. "So we've done more, and I think we're somewhere in the middle of doing as much as we'd like to with a full roster than what we did before, so I believe that we've done enough without sacrificing bodies."

A few bodies did leave the field, cornerback Devian Shelton was carted off with an undisclosed injury, tight end Randal Telfer walked off with an undisclosed injury, as did receiver George Farmer who left practice with his right shoulder iced.

"We got some guys banged up but that's what happens when you do this," Kiffin said. "But we needed to do this without scrimmaging this weekend."

Pullard in the Middle

With the ongoing undisclosed injury sidelining middle linebacker Lamar Dawson, weak side linebacker Hayes Pullard continues to take reps in the middle.

Kiffin says it has been a smooth transition for the 6-1, 235 pound Pullard, and that he is confident in his ability if he has to start their versus Hawaii.

"I can't imagine Hayes could have done better than he did," Kiffin said following Thursday's practice. "Moving basically in one day they put him in there and it's like he'd been there a long time." Pullard said earlier in camp that the coaches have simplified the position so he can continue to play fast at all times, like he did as an outside linebacker.

The redshirt sophomore has picked up the position so quickly, Kiffin said under different circumstances, it could be his long-term home.

"Maybe if we had different personnel and different people, there's nothing saying that wouldn't be his best spot in the long run," Kiffin said, "and maybe his spot at the next level too."

Quick Hits

The Trojans wore full-pads, tackled, and returned to Dedeaux Field for Thursday's practice.

Linebacker Jabari Ruffin did not practice, the freshman was on the sidelines wearing a sling on his left arm.

Linebacker Lamar Dawson did not participate.

Defensive end Greg Townsend did not participate.

Cornerback Devian Shelton was carted off the field with an undisclosed injury.

Defensive end Wes Horton left practice early, undisclosed injury, he seemed to be favoring his right ankle.

Receiver George Farmer left practice early with his right shoulder wrapped in ice.

Tight end Randal Telfer left practice early with an undisclosed injury.

Safety Drew McAllister and linebacker Dion Bailey wore yellow no-contact jerseys.

During 11 on 11 drills the offense had a couple of false starts, first by tight end Xavier Grimble, then on the very next play by offensive tackle Max Tuerk.

During 7 on 7 drills, Barkley was picked off by cornerback Nickell Robey…Barkley went deep to Lee who, running feel speed, reached out in front and made a spectacular grab about 40 yards downfield.

Time was spent during practice today going over scout teams. USC was not necessarily lining up for Hawaii, but teaching the players on the scout team how to line up and explaining expectations.

Asked if redshirting freshman offensive tackle Zach Banner is a possibility, Kiffin said it would only be a possibility if Banner was limited to special teams and played no role in the offense. "For a kid to just play on one special team, I don't think that's really fair to the kid," he said.

USC has now sold out three home games, Hawaii, Oregon, and Notre Dame. Kiffin said, "Our players will be excited to see that and that's what should be happening at SC," regarding the sellouts.

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