Rey Maualuga visited the Trojans after practice and walked Lane Kiffin back to Heritage Hall. Photos on Twitter...
- In terms of practice participation, the injury situation did not change a whole lot. Malcolm Smith, Wes Horton and Dillon Baxter still look doubtful, but Kiffin will not rule anyone out.
- Robert Woods will have a simple defensive role on Saturday. "They want me to lock down my man, so that's my job," Robert Woods said of his defensive responsibilities. "Hopefully, I can get an interception." The coaches told him that they will expand his defensive role in the bye week if he plays well.
- As I said yesterday, Woods was a free safety at Serra not a corner. "I was a free safety, but we played a lot of man coverage, so I was down covering a receiver in space, so it's kind of the same thing," Woods said.
- Woods is not worried about tiring out from the extra workload. "I rarely get tired on the field," the phenom said. He said the TV timeouts give him ample opportunity to catch his breath.
- Senior captain Shareece Wright addressed the defense without the coaches present earlier this week with Kiffin's blessing. "It was my calling to do that," Wright said. "I feel we needed it. We have not been playing well as a defense and something had to change. They needed to hear from a player's perspective what the truth is about our defense."
- Wright is happy with the team's response and their attention to detail this week. "I want them to focus on being the best individually and being more focused at practice," said the veteran corner.
- Wright's focus better be sharp this week since he'll be manned up with Marvin Jones, Cal's leading receiver. "He's not a big receiver," Wright scouted. "It's always harder to play speedy receivers, who are elusive."
- Linebackers coach Joe Barry has looked at plenty of tape himself and he's impressed by Bears RB Shane Vereen. "I think he is by far the best back that we have played," Barry lauded.
- Vereen's versatility could cause problems for USC's defense. "That's what makes him so special," Barry said. "What puts him in a different class of the guys that we've played is that he can catch the ball out of the backfield." Barry expects Jeff Tedford to move Vereen all over the field to create mismatches.
- Tedford made his name by running quarterback factories at Fresno State, Oregon and early on at Cal. Now, he rolls out a new NFL back every year. "When he has a good back like Marshawn Lynch, like Jahvid Best, he knows how to feature him," Barry said about Tedford. "They put Vereen right in the same role. He's special, no doubt."
- Chris Galippo has spent most of the week working at weak side linebacker in place of Malcolm Smith and Shane Horton instead of battling Devon Kennard for the starting "Mike" spot. Barry is worried more about consistency than competition. "We still have great players. We just have great players that have not played consistent. As a defense, we have not played consistent yet."
- Barry is in his ninth year working under Monte Kiffin and both men are encouraged that they were finally able to force fumbles (three) against Stanford. "Great defenses cause turnovers just with their physicality and style of play," Barry said.
- TE Blake Ayles and DE James Boyd are too little used players that could get more playing time Saturday with all the banged up players in front of them.
- Lane Kiffin spoke briefly to the media...