Bye Week Notebook

No. 13 USC will travel to play Utah next Thursday. In the meantime, Coach Lane Kiffin changed up the practice schedule and routine to give his team time to rest and recover before getting back to game action.

Practice Schedule Shifts
Thursday is a rare mid-week off day for No. 13 USC who will rest on Saturday for their bye week. The Trojans will return to the field to practice on Friday, starting to prepare for Utah, and will be back at it on Sunday.

Kiffin says the coaches have already turned to USC's next opponent, the players will do so Friday.

USC travels to Utah on Wednesday for their Thursday night matchup against the Utes. The Trojans will be back in front of national audience on ESPN.

Kicking Threes Again
Saturday against Cal marked the return of sophomore place kicker Andre Heidari. Heidari reportedly had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. He's missed action since the Trojans' season opener against Hawaii.

Kiffin said he knew during the week that Heidari would be good to go against the Bears. With his return, pressure was taken off the Trojans' offense to convert on fourth down situations.

Heidari kicked two field goals against Cal, from 40 and 41 yards respectively, nailing them both. "We have an elite kicker," Kiffin said after practice Wednesday. "That's why he was a freshman All-American. Which I like."

Loving the D-Line
The praise hasn't stopped for the Trojans' defensive line.

"Any time that you have a game, a conference game especially, and you're able to get pressure like that, have nine sacks all by defensive linemen, I don't know if I've heard of that before, so it was great to see" Kiffin said on Wednesday.

The line saw the return of Wes Horton against Cal, who Kiffin says had his first effective game of the season. "It was good to see," he said. "Obviously we'd love to have him the whole time through, at full speed." Kiffin added that this was the first game Horton was able to "push off and go." Horton spent much of fall camp and parts of the season sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

The line can get even stronger, yet, if J.R Tavai returns. Tavai did not suit up for the Cal game. "J.R. is more experienced than the rest of those guys and that would help us, too," Kiffin said.

In the meantime, freshman Leonard Williams continues to gain valuable experience. "He's been unbelievable," Kiffin said. "He's really rushed great in there, having fun." Williams recorded four tackles and two sacks against Cal.

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