Open Competition

After reviewing film from USC's 21-14 loss to Stanford, USC Coach Lane Kiffin says his offensive line is an area of concern and it is time to open the competition at left tackle.

After dissecting film of USC's 21-14 loss, USC Coach Lane Kiffin had a few strong statements to make on Sunday evening about the performance of his offensive line.

Kiffin, in fact, singled the group out saying that in all of his years of coaching, this group missed more assignments than any offensive line he's ever had, at any place he's been.

Redshirt freshman Cyrus Hobbi got the first start of his career as a Trojan. Hobbi played in place of injured senior center Khaled Holmes, who warmed up with the team but was a game time decision, and that decision was that he was a not well enough for game action.

"That is the most difficult team on our schedule for someone to play his first game at center," Kiffin said of having to insert Hobbi. "If there was a game on the schedule you'd pick that you wouldn't want to be missing your senior center this is it."

Kiffin also said it is time to open the competition at left tackle. Freshman Max Tuerk will takes reps this week at practice with the first team, competing for the starting job against sophomore Aundrey Walker. "We have standards and expectations here that our team is well aware of," Kiffin said during Sunday night's phone conference. "(Walker's) effort in that game did not meet those."

Tuerk took reps at left tackle for a couple of weeks during fall camp, when Walker was sidelined with a subluxed shoulder. Although a freshman, Kiffin said during camp that he rarely, if ever, yelled out Tuerk's name – a positive sign for someone just stepping into the position.


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