A shorter practice tonight as the Trojans look to conserve energy...
- USC appears to be as healthy as they have been in a while. I would expect to see LB Malcolm Smith, RB Dillon Baxter and RB Allen Bradford make more than token appearances in Saturday's game.
- The Trojans' mental mindset coming off the Oregon loss has been the story of the week, but Lane Kiffin continues to reiterate that he is not worried about it. "We're not good enough to overlook anybody," he said after practice.
- However, he is worried about the physical toll the Ducks game took on his limited roster. "I'm concerned that we are a little bit tired," Kiffin admitted. "We have tried to shorten things down a little bit after the track meet last week. Hopefully, we will have our legs back."
- Allen Bradford is finally happy to have his toe back. The bruising runner has been hampered by turf toe since his breakout performance against Washington. "I am feeling 100%," said Bradford, who broke off a long run near the end of practice. "The week of practice against Cal, I got turf toe and since then, I have been fighting injury."
- In my scouting report below, I failed to recognize ASU's standout cornerback Omar Bolden. "Speedy guy, likes to fly around," Robert Woods gave me the scouting report. "He's a physical corner, who definitely jumps routes." He was one of the best corners that Woods has seen this year.
- Woods is the breakout star from this year's freshman class. On Facebook, we ran a contest to give him a nickname that elicited almost 300 responses. (By the way, he liked "Serra Terror" the best, but he's sticking with "Woody" since it was his dad's nickname.) "It is pretty fun and nice to hear," said Woods about his fan popularity. "I'm happy to put on a show for the fans, but I just come out here and play and do what I can."
- The Sun Devils struggle in kickoff coverage, so the "Convoy" sees an opportunity to make some plays this weekend. "It actually does [get me drooling]," he said after watching the film. "Coach Baxter told me I 'better end up taking one back this week because it's one of those games.'"
- While ASU has tapped into the Los Angeles area for much of their talent, the Trojans have a Phoenix-native in Devon Kennard at middle linebacker. "I am familiar with a lot of the guys on the team," Kennard said. "I'm excited to get a chance to play them this year and get a win."
- Kennard will likely meet up at some point with Sun Devils WR Gerell Robinson, but it won't be for the first time. The two Arizona stars went to rival high schools. "He's a year older than me, but we always played against each other. It will be good to go against him again this year."
- Kennard admits that ASU's offense could pose some problems. "They are going to spread you out and they have some shifty backs, so we've got to come ready for that."
- There is a chance that Chris Galippo will start over Kennard in Saturday's game, but Kiffin has not told the two players. "We've just been competing," Kennard said of the week. "I'm never one to shy away from competition, so I'm excited."
- Here is a shorter session with Coach Kiff... (That's Christian Thomas screaming in the background! I don't know why.)