Camp Practice 19: Notes


Injuries and depth continue to be the headline topics of fall camp.  "You think about almost stopping practice," Lane Kiffin said on all the health concerns.

  • Allen Bradford was carted off the practice field tonight with a left knee injury.  Lane Kiffin said they don't expect it to be too serious.  The senior running back seemed in good spirits sitting on the training table.  (UPDATE: Bradford's knee is bruised and the ligaments are not damaged.  He has some swelling and pain, but it's minor, according to an OC Register report.)
  • C.J. Gable was also forced out of practice early with a leg injury.
  • WR David Ausberry is suffering from a stress fracture in his fibula.  It is a recurrence of an injury that he battled last year.
  • Freshmen QB Jesse Scroggins and DB Demetrius Wright are forced to sit at home, while they wait to be cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. 
  • Freshman FB Soma Vainuku has to take some extra classes or tests, which could potentially push it until next spring as far as when he'll be eligible.
  • Rhett Ellison is the starting tight end.  Jordan Cameron started out hot, but he's "hit a wall," according to Kiffin.  Cameron is a skilled receiver, but his blocking needs to improve to see significant playing time.
  • DaJohn Harris is already a redshirt junior, but he's set to get his first meaningful playing time.  "A lot of times some guys benefit from a fresh start.  He has not really done much here, not been very productive.  He was not necessarily accountable from the stories I heard, but he's been great since we've been here.  I think it's been a fresh start for him and he's taken advantage of it," Kiffin said.
  • Harris is starting because Christian Tupou is lost for the season with a knee injury.  I checked in with Tupou to see how he's handling practice and his response was the quote of the night.
  • Tupou: "I feel like a firecracker with a short fuse.  Anything will make me pop.  I'm just angry man.  I'm a d-lineman, so I'm just naturally angry and I have no outlet to get it all out.  I need to work on my patience, so I try and hold it in, hold it in and when I get healthy, I'm going to turn into a beast."  He emphasized beast by punching one hand into the other.
  • Tupou on how good this defensive line can be: "The best.  There are some days when they are just balling out, but they need to come with that every day.  Champions do it every day."
  • Kiffin will reassess the depth chart after Saturday's scrimmage.  "We'd like to have a great feel after Saturday of knowing where we're at.  It's the right thing to do for your team to get them moving in the right spots, the right packages." 
  • For all the talk about the lack of depth at linebacker, it might not be an issue in the first game against Hawaii.  Kiffin noted that the Warriors play so much spread offense, the Trojans may never be in their base 4-3 defense.  Meaning, they'll likely play three cornerbacks most of the game instead of three linebackers.
  • In that scenario, Nickell Robey will play the nickel position against the slot receiver regardless of whether or not he's considered the #2 corner.  At only 5'8", his lack of height is less of a problem when he plays inside, although judging by his leaping ability, size might not be an issue at all.
  • I don't expect there to be much tackling, if any, in tomorrow's preseason game.
  • I promised on Twitter that I would post a mailbag today, but I'm still waiting on one more answer.  I'll publish it next week.  Sorry for the delay, but it gives you time to email me more questions.
  • To clarify a complaint about the photos, the album page on Facebook shows only thumbnails, which crops out a large portion of the picture.  You have to click on the image to see the entire shot.
  • Here is Lane Kiffin's on-field presser tonight:



Can anyone provide updates on the Dillon Baxter investigation?

Lane Kiffin USC vs. Steve Sarkisian Washington.

Debate question: Which one of these two co-coordinators under Pete Carroll at USC is the real deal, and which one is Lane Kiffin?

OK, it's too early to call. So far, Kiffin appears to be the petulant child who has been handed three plum head-coaching jobs — the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee, USC — for no compelling reasons.

Sarkisian, by contrast, took over two years ago at 0-12 Washington and led the Huskies to 5-7 in his first year, with a win over Carroll and USC.

Ed Orgeron 10-25 Ole Miss
Monte Kiffin 16-17 NC State
Lane Kiffin 5-15 Oakland
Lane Kiffin 7-6 Tennessee

TOTAL - Won 38 Lost 63

Can you help me settle an argument. I say Coach Kiffin's best victory to date was last season's victory against Western Kentucky, and my friend says it was his victory against a powerful Ohio University team.

His best victory to date has to be against Vanderbilt.
Commodores did not have a great record (2-10) last year, but they are always dangerous, and he beat them by 15 points -- a blow-out.

Just remember folks, that the best coach of any sport is only as good as the players on the team. At The Raiders and Tennessee, Kiffin did not recruit those teams. They were already in place when he and his staff arrived. It takes 2 - 3 years to rebuild a losing football team into something worthwhile. Here at SC, the players are there and they're ready to rumble, are motivated and most importantly, the players have bought into what Coach Kiffin and his staff are trying to do with the team.

They will survive and will make a huge statement on the football field this year. "Fight On" isn't just USC's mantra. It is a state of mind.

btw: why do you SC/Kiffin haters waste your time on our websites? We're flattered that you spend your precious time here, but hey.... time to move on.

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