The banged up Trojans focused on trying to find a kicker today.
- The "limited" injury list was long today, which included Stanley Havili (shoulder), Wes Horton (back), Robert Woods and others. Lane Kiffin called last Saturday the "most physical" game so far, so we'll keep an eye on the injuries to see if they are long term or just the lasting effects of a brutal fight.
- As for the kicking competition between Joe Houston and Jake Harfman, it did not go well. In the first round of live kicks, Houston missed all three of his tries (37, 42 and 47). Harfman made from 37 and 47, but missed from 42.
- At the end of practice with the entire team surrounding the kickers forming a cocoon of pressure, Houston made from 29, missed badly from 39, but rebounded to make his last kick from 39. Harfman went make, miss, make as well.
- Harfman on his return to kicking: "It felt different. I have not kicked field goals in practice at all in the last two and a half, three months, since camp, but it felt good first day back."
- Remember, Harfman is not a kid. He's already a senior, who likely wrapped his head around being a punter or kickoff specialist going forward. Now the kicking door has been reopened, "I originally came here thinking I was going to kick field goals, but I ended up focusing more on punt and kickoff, which suited me well. I try to do whatever I can to get the team Ws."
- For the second straight week, USC's defense is facing a mobile quarterback, but Ed Orgeron was pleased with how his front four handled Locker's ability to break contain. "I thought we rushed the passer pretty good," Orgeron said. "There were a couple of times when we couldn't contain him, but he's a good quarterback. We're going to have to do the same thing this week."
- Three of the four starting defensive linemen (Jurrell Casey, Armond Armstead and Nick Perry) played 71 of the 80 snaps Saturday. With Wes Horton out, depth is a growing concern. "We got some guys that are injured, so we are just going to have to suck it up," Coach O explained. "Maybe a couple of guys can come along this week."
- Monte Kiffin wants to focus on getting better at what they do instead of changing the system. "You look at different things, but if you jump around too much...because this is a new system for our players right now," Kiffin said. "The biggest thing is to get the reps at what we're doing and do it better."
- As we talked about in our keys to the game last Friday, the linebackers are not making enough plays. "We have not gotten significant plays from that group," Lane Kiffin said after practice. "They are playing ok, but there's been no significant plays."
- Many of your comments from Saturday focused on the 3rd and 4 incompletion to Jordan Cameron instead of sticking with Allen Bradford and the run. Bradford was surprised by the play call, "We all thought it was going to be a run, but it was a pass," the senior said. "We can't live in the past. We just have to move forward."
- I surmised that Bradford was worn out on the last two drives. On both possessions, he started by busting a run, 34 and 22 yards respectively. Then, he slowed down. On the second to last possession, Bradford followed his long run with gains of 1 and -1. On the last drive, he rushed for 9, 2, 4 and 2. So, did he get tired?
- "It wasn't my legs," Bradford said. "It was more in my back than anything. Tightness came back in my back from Thursday and that was it."
- On a chilly, but mostly dry evening, here's a bundled up Lane Kiffin...