It's a Keary Colbert kinda day on the blog...
- The injury list was extensive again, but there's no new news to report on that front.
- Lane Kiffin intimated that at least two spots were up for grabs this week. Marshall Jones will compete with Jawanza Starling for the safety spot alongside T.J. McDonald. And, Michael Reardon will get a chance to move Butch Lewis out of the left guard spot. Kiffin called Lewis's production "completely unacceptable" and said Starling's position is "definitely" up in the air.
- Kiffin was extremely disappointed with the offensive line play on the whole. "We don't even look the same," Kiffin compared film of the line from earlier in the season to last week. "Our effort...taking the easy way out instead of getting them on the ground. We better get it fixed."
- As for the controversy around the errant snap in the 2nd quarter that gifted Oregon a turnover, "It was a throw-off play, so I looked under and gave a false call," Kris O'Dowd explained. "I looked under again and usually, he would give us a call, but he gave me the speed count, which is his leg, which tells me to snap. So, I'm assuming that the clock is running down, so I snapped it. As you see on the tape, Matt was looking at Coach Kiffin, so I don't think he was really paying attention to his foot."
- As for Colbert, he was really the first great receiver in the recent lineage of Trojan targets. Now, Robert Woods is next to carry the torch. "He has developed a lot faster than a lot of guys who have come through these gates and played on this field," Colbert praised. "He's shown that he has some special qualities. I love watching him play."
- Colbert is second all-time on USC's career receptions list, but he only had 33 catches for 480 yards as a freshman. Woods has 39 receptions for 574 yards already. "He studied a lot coming in," said Colbert about Woods accelerated progress. "Being a local guy, he was up here always wanting to watch film, always wanting to meet with coaches. He's naturally talented, but he's set himself up by knowing what to do."
- Matt Barkley is on the same kind of advanced learning curve. "He's just as polished and developed as those guys were as a sophomore," Colbert compared Barkley to his quarterbacks, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. "A lot of these things with football, you either have it or you don't."
- Colbert's job is to focus on the tight ends. The unit is led by experienced vets like Rhett Ellison, Jordan Cameron and Blake Ayles, but the future of the position is in the freshman class with Randall Telfer, Xavier Grimble and Christian Thomas. "The sky is definitely going to be the limit for them," Colbert expects them to benefit greatly from this season's work on the scout team against the best defenders.
- As we have mentioned before, Telfer works as hard after practice as any player. "He wants to be better," Colbert said about Telfer's work ethic. "He's a sponge. He loves to be out here. He takes the extra time to help him in his craft and that's going to help his game in the future."
- Christian Thomas will not be redshirted this season because he appeared as a defensive end in a game. Now, he's working with the fullbacks, but he came in as a tight end. "He's one of those athletic guys that you can move all over the lot," Colbert described. "We'll see if I can steal him away from Coach Pola!"
- As someone who went to USC at the same time as Colbert, I can only hope that these young pass catchers understand how good he was. "They hear it a lot from these coaches," said Colbert, who does not brag about his own achievements. "I was a big SC history guy. I could tell you about all the guys that came before me. Some of these guys can, but some really don't know."
- Finally, it was 92 degrees at USC today. As my Sun Devil friend said, "It must be ASU week."
- Here is Kiffin who spoke bluntly about the week's position battles...