Iron man tryouts began tonight...
- Robert Woods spent some time working with the defense tonight at corner. Woods was a free safety at Serra High School. Last year, I saw him in person one time and he intercepted two passes. He looked far more polished as a defensive back than a receiver. Now that we know what kind of receiver he can be, that's really saying something. It's likely the reason that he's getting a two-way look.
- Besides his talent, Woods' unusual maturity makes him a candidate for such an advanced role. "Robert Woods, I don't see him as being a young kid anymore," Kris O'Dowd said. "I see him as being a young man that knows how to prepare."
- The injury list was long again, but Lane Kiffin insinuated that many of the players will be back tomorrow or by Saturday. Malcolm Smith (knee) looks like a serious doubt. I would not count on Wes Horton or Dillon Baxter either, but it's all speculation.
- While the defense has been the story lately, the offense deserves credit for keeping the Trojans in the last two games. Other than the sloppy Virginia performance, USC has scored 30+ points in the five remaining games. The offensive diversity is keyed by the offensive line's consistency. "I have felt this offensive line unit really come together," said O'Dowd, the leader of the group. "I am really proud to be a part of this offensive line. They are a great group of guys and they play like veterans."
- As long as the line does their job, the offense can shift their focus to counteract opposing gameplans. Washington wanted to take away Matt Barkley, so Allen Bradford ran for 200+ yards. Stanford reacted by taking away Bradford, so Barkley passed for almost 400. Lane Kiffin's strength as a play-caller is feeling the momentum of what's working. "The thing with Coach Kiffin is when we start running things really well, he'll keep it going," O'Dowd said about the adjustment from run to pass against last week.
- Remember, Kiffin famously called 28 consecutive pass plays against Michigan in the 2007 Rose Bowl win. While he values balance as an offense, he does not necessarily stress it within each game.
- With USC's offense rolling as well as it has in years, the players are starting to recognize limitless potential. "This offense can be as good as we want it to be," Allen Bradford said. "As long as we are not killing ourselves, we'll be a great offense."
- USC is 13th in the nation in total offense, while Cal's defense is 7th, so Saturday is viewed as strength versus strength. "They've got a real good defense and we've got a real good offense," Bradford said. "It's going to be a battle of the titans and we have to go out there and clash with them."
- The Bears run a 3-4 scheme, which was part of the reason Bradford struggled against Stanford. "It was a 3-4 and I could not get the feel right," he said. "I have to make sure I explode through the hole, whichever one I choose."
- Bradford and Shareece Wright were high school teammates at Colton, so you know he had something to say to his old friend after Wright got jacked up by Cardinal QB Andrew Luck. "Oh, I said something. I have played with Shareece since we were in 7th grade and I have never seen him get hit like that," Bradford smirked.
- During the bye week, Bradford and Wright plan to return to Colton to take in a game on Friday night and hang out with all their old coaches and friends.
- Lane Kiffin heard back from the Pac-10 on Saturday's refereeing decision, but he is keeping it a secret. See for yourself...