The Trojans on Washington

No. 11 USC kicks off against Washington on Saturday at 4pm in Seattle. Read what the Trojans' had to say about the Huskies during practice this week...

Lane Kiffin
On playing against Steve Sarkisian…

"Once you get to the game and kickoff you forget about all that, just like the players forget about that stuff. You're so locked into the game. But it's a healthy rivalry between the schools, and he's done a great job making it very competitive."

On playing in Seattle…
"I think playing them at home. You go up there, the crowd and the stadium's extremely loud that they're in. And they play better at home. They've done that. Before he got there but especially since he's gotten there, they're like two different teams. The concern for us on offense is handling the crowd, playing with good composure. On defense, it's handling the quarterback. He makes so many plays by running around, out-of-rhythm plays, especially toward the end of last year in the bowl game."

On Washington quarterback Keith Price's numbers, which are down this season…
"Quarterbacks always get too much blame on all levels; you saw it last night, on Monday night. If the players around aren't in rhythm and aren't doing things, sometimes you suffer, just like Matt went through at the beginning of last year with so many new pieces coming in. It was different at the end of the year. I think Price is suffering from all those injuries – the tailback injuries, two of them, four offensive line injuries, the receiver injury. That's hard for any program to handle. As the quarterback, you suffer with a bunch of new guys in there. We saw that happen with Matt. As those guys started to get more snaps underneath them and play better late in the year, then your numbers show up."

How Washington beat Stanford
"I think it was an example of playing at home and playing great. Like I said, they play really well at home. Both sides of the line of scrimmage they did good. With all those new linemen in there they did a great job vs. Stanford's great front seven. And then on the other side of the ball, they were able to do really well too vs. a really good run team and hold them to almost nothing."

On his thoughts after Washington was blown out by Oregon
"Well I thought Sark was right in the post game that the score wasn't necessarily indicative of where he felt the programs were. Obviously Oregon's one of the best programs in the country and Washington is not that far behind so I thought that was true. They got some breaks early and the game just got out of hand."


Matt Barkley
On playing Washington…

"…because of Sark and they've gotten our number a couple of times over the last couple of years and that's probably why, but it's a whole different year, whole new ballgame this week and so we've just got to come out and it's a business trip up there."

On playing at CenturyLink Field…
"I've been there before, to a couple of games, and it gets loud. No doubt about that, but we've played in loud environments before and we've just got to make sure our guys are focused on us and nothing else."

"I've been to a Sounders game, which was surprisingly very loud, it was a fantastic sporting event. I've been to a Seahawks game, so it's a great place to, I like the stadium and the atmosphere. It's all business when we get up there."

Nickell Robey
On facing quarterback Keith Price…

"Facing Keith Price, he's a great quarterback, he being a dual threat, brings a lot of complexity to their offense, they are a great team. In the passing game they throw the ball well, these guys – they hustle – the quarterback, they do a lot of great things – he throws the ball pretty well."

On what part of Washington's offense is most important to slow down…
"As far as them, we've got to stop the running game. Everything starts with the running game, that's how you get big pass throws, throwing on you, so we've just got to stop the run and once we stop the run we'll be able to see everything else."

On the expected loud crowd…
"No, I love it. I love it. I love hostile environments, that's why I come to USC. That's the only reason why I come to USC. You get to play in big games and you get to show and prove to the world what you can do and when I'm in hostile environments I step up to the plate and it's a fun thing to do, when you know that everyone is watching you and seeing what you are going to do."

T.J. McDonald
On the expected environment in Seattle…

"I know it's going to be electric. I've watched the Seahawks play on TV and I've heard about how electrifying the stadium is, so it's going to be exciting, hopefully our fans will travel well, but I kind of like away games. Just because it's us against everybody. I love it in front of our home crowd, but when you go away, it's just us against the world. So you can bring that team unity in and when you can go out there and just hush that crowd it feels real good."

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