A little Monday Night Football for the Trojans...
- USC's sideline is starting to look healthier, but Dillon Baxter, Malcolm Smith and C.J. Gable are still out. Gable is encouraged that he can bend his knee the whole way. Wes Horton returned to full practice, which was great news for a thin defensive line. "Our defensive line is ready to go for the first time this year," Lane Kiffin said after practice.
- Actually, the sidelines were pretty barren. Since the Trojans usually have Monday off, many players had classes this evening and missed all or part of practice.
- The defense has done some live tackling in the last couple of practices. "If we could tackle at all in the secondary, we're 7-0 right now," Kiffin acknowledged. Although, the head coach said there is still plenty of work to do in that department. "It's rusty."
- Last week, Lane Kiffin mentioned that he is considering switching to the spread offense next season when Stanley Havili departs for the NFL because the Trojans do not have a natural fullback on the roster. To be clear, the spread offense is different than the spread option, which Oregon runs. USC's new look would probably be more like the Colts with three wide receivers and a tight end in their standard formation.
- Either way, Havili is not buying it. "I know Coach Kiffin loves using fullbacks, so I'll believe it when I see it," the 5th-year senior said.
- During his tenure as Trojan plough horse, Havili has seen running back talents like Allen Bradford and D.J. Shoemate spurn the opportunity to carry the torch. "The guys they asked to play it were not originally fullbacks," Havili explained. "They've been a star the whole time with the ball in their hands, so they see it as a big step down."
- Havili was offered the opportunity to play right away as a fullback at USC, which he called "perfect timing."
- USC's current pro-style system, which includes Havili at fullback, is completely different than Oregon's up-tempo fast-break "Spread O." "It's definitely fun to watch," Havili conceded. "But we're going to be ready to play against them."
- During today's Q&A, Lane Kiffin said that "Everyone is a middle linebacker this week because everyone has to see it because it happens so fast." Oregon can do so many things and fake so many options from the "mesh point" between the quarterback and running back. "In one play, they have three or four options," Havili said about the tape he has watched on them. "If the coach does not like it, he can change the play right there. It's just dynamic because they have so many options."
- Whether it's matching Oregon score for score or grinding out the clock, Havili is sure of one thing. "I feel like we can win," the senior said plainly.
- Oregon defensive back and return specialist Cliff Harris is high school teammates with USC DB T.J. McDonald. The two friends have talked a little trash this week. "I let him do all the talking," McDonald said. "He can talk. He can talk a little bit."
- McDonald has plenty of respect for what his former teammate can do when he gets his hands on the football. "He did some stuff in high school that makes you say 'Wow,'" McDonald said. "He has some natural ability to him and we better be ready."
- YouTube is giving us problems today, so you'll have to watch Lane Kiffin's media session on a Facebook video player.