UW Wednesday Practice: Notes

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Despite lightning in the backdrop (see Lane Kiffin's presser), USC still lacked energy in practice.

  • Kiffin called the Trojans "sloppy" today.  He emphasized the defense's inability to force turnovers, but dropped balls offensively were apparent to all spectators.
  • However, Dillon Baxter was jolted a couple of times.  In 7-on-7, LB Will Andrew buried him on a crossing route.  And in the team portion, Baxter coughed up the ball when he was clocked by a linebacker.
  • The kickers took a field trip to the Coliseum during practice.  While the season feels in full swing, USC has played only one home game.  Joe Houston's field goal was the difference that night and it's the only one that he has made this season.
  • While you will not hear about freshman TE Randall Telfer this year, I would bet on his future success based on his work ethic.  Telfer stays after practice consistently to work on his routes and hands with the service team quarterbacks.   No coaches around, just a young player's desire to improve.
  • Speaking of talented tight ends, Blake Ayles ended practice with an ankle-breaking run after the catch.  DB Marshall Jones was the would be tackler caught going the wrong direction. 
  • Freshman QB Jesse Scroggins is playing Jake Locker this week.  "I just try to watch as much film as I can to give the defense a good look," Scroggins said of his Locker impression.  Actually, he has met the UW superstar and came away impressed.  "I think he's a ballmaker, a gameplanner, a lover, a winner.  I got to meet him on a first name basis and I like the guy."
  • "He's such an athletic kid that he's going to be able to show the defense a little bit of game speed with his feet as well as a very strong arm," QB coach Clay Helton said of moving Scroggins this week.
  • While he is focusing on his mobility this week, Scroggins is not a running quarterback.  "I'm a pocket-passer all the way," Scroggins made clear.  "I just have the ability to run.  It's pass first, run second."
  • While the freshman does not figure to play for at least two years, Helton is impressed with his ability to learn the system and adjust to working underneath center.  "He has all the physical attributes that you want as far as arm strength and as far as vision."
  • As for the starting quarterback, Helton has ambitious goals for Matt Barkley.  Currently ranked 13th in the nation in pass efficiency and #2 in the conference, Helton wants him to be #1 in both.  "You can throw as many touchdowns in the world, which he leads the country right now in touchdown passes, but you can't do the interceptions."
  • In breaking down Barkley's four picks in the last two games, he never once mentions physical mistakes.  "You are talking about one of the more arm talented kids that there are in the country," Helton praised.  "He can fit the ball in such tight windows with his arm strength and his accuracy."
  • The QB coach calls his pupil "a gambler," but he would rather have to reign him in than force him to be aggressive.  "The kid has incredible vision.  He's made throws throughout his career that baffle us.  As you progress as a quarterback, you start to learn that there's another guy that's going to be open in the offense." 
  • Watch Kiffin's electrifying press conference...

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