Wazzu Tuesday Practice: Notes

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The Trojans are back on the practice field as they prepare for the Pac-10 opener.

  • On the injury front, DB Drew McAllister is out for the season and will have hip surgery.  True freshman Demetrius Wright, who intercepted Matt Barkley during practice, will move up the depth chart and take his spot.
  • Lane Kiffin did not name a starting tailback.  Allen Bradford received most of the first team reps during the scrimmage portion, but Marc Tyler had already left the field to attend a class.
  • "I'm taking this week as I did last week and just continue to practice and be ready," Bradford said.  He said the coaches have not indicated that the reps will be changed around.
  • "Right now, Marc [Tyler] is going to take the first reps and [Bradford] will be involved in it," RB coach Kennedy Pola said.  Pola described the running back group as "raw," which explains the inconsistency in performances.
  • Kiffin explained that Marc Tyler opened the door by fumbling early against Minnesota.  Bradford lost a fumble late in the game, but he had already seized his opportunity.
  • As for the third man in this trio, Dillon Baxter is satisfied with his role so far.  "I just got here," Baxter said after practice.  "For me to get as many touches as I have is good.  It's really good for me.  I'm excited this week to hopefully make some plays and come out with a victory."
  • Baxter's emphasis this week is on finding his top gear on the practice field.  "I haven't really been going a full 100%.  I need to go hard every practice and give everything.  They say, 'practice makes perfect.'"
  • During the competitive portion of practice, Matt Barkley noticeably threw a lot of balls away.  However, he threw two more interceptions, which he paid for in laps.  "Our defense is doing a great job and they know our stuff," Barkley said.  "You just have to be smart with the ball in those situations."
  • Is throwing interceptions more of a physical problem or a mental mistake?  "I pretty much can put the ball where I want for the most part," Barkley favored the mental side.  "When those picks happen, it usually is because of a miscommunication, which is mental." 
  • While he admitted to forcing the ball at times last year, he credits his Saturday mistakes to communication errors.  "Usually it's that I'm thinking he's going to do this and then he does not do it and then it ends up in the other team's hands," Barkley explained.
  • As a team, the Trojans work extremely hard, but no one puts in as much extra work after practice as Ronald Johnson.  The assistant coaches say that he has an "NFL work ethic," which is exactly where RoJo intends to be next year.
  • Patrick Hall returned from his indefinite leave.
  • Asked if he likes the championship game format that the Pac-12 will institute when Colorado and Utah arrive, Kiffin said, "Sure, if we're in it."  Here is Lane Kiffin talking about practice...

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