Notebook: Thursday practice

The Trojans practiced Thursday on Howard Jones Field in preparation for their Pac-12 opener Saturday at the Coliseum, hosting Washington State...

No shirt, no shoes, no problem
Okay, so it was more like no pads, no helmets, no cleats for the Trojans' Thursday practice.

USC head coach Lane Kiffin saying afterward he wanted to take it easy on his players who have had a long hard week of work since returning from Hawaii.

"Everyday we're looking at our team and where we are at," Kiffin explained. "After yesterday everybody was really tired. I think the price we've paid with the numbers where we're at plus the injuries, I think has taken a toll on our front line guys.

"The last thing we want to do is run them into the ground. Especially our defensive guys who will be playing a lot of plays on Saturday."

Pac-12 opener
Just the second game into the season, and it's already the Pac-12 opener for both USC (1-0) and their Washington State (0-1) opponent.

Kiffin says the team has closely studied Cougar quarterback Connor Halliday, who was 35-of-65 for 344 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions in WSU's 31-24 loss at Auburn.

"[He] really had a great game the other night," Kiffin said of Halliday. "Really accurate, very poised in the pocket, didn't let the rush get to him and kept his eyes downfield. I thought he played really well."

The Trojans' defensive line, who collected seven sacks against Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham, will need to be equally aggressive in their pursuit of Halliday in order to get the Cougar scrambling. USC will most likely play in their nickel package most of the game in order to defend the volume of passes expected.

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