After two flat practices, the Trojans had possibly their best practice of the season.
- Corners T.J. Bryant and Torin Harris had MRIs on their shoulders this week, but they are expected to be available for Oregon State.
- Dillon Baxter was in the hospital today with an undisclosed illness, but Lane Kiffin expects that he'll make the trip to Corvallis. Marc Tyler was officially named the starter.
- Jawanza Starling has not practiced all week after missing the Arizona game, so I would not expect to see him in uniform this weekend. Marshall Jones will likely start again at safety.
- Asked about Washington's black uniforms (currently airing on ESPN), Kiffin admitted that he wanted USC to play with black socks for one game this season and he introduced black uniforms at Tennessee last season, but he did not think the Trojan tradition would welcome the change.
- Stanley Havili has emerged as the true leader of this USC team and he's happy with how the team responded tonight after two negative practices. "I can tell you from the practice today that the guys are on it," said Havili, who is not concerned about the team overlooking Oregon State. "It does not look like a trap game."
- However, Havili admitted that the younger Trojans need to understand the value of practicing hard every day. "It just has to be a mentality. A lot of the younger guys just don't understand how much practice means here. We can't just turn it on on gameday like in high school. The way you practice is the way you play."
- The fullback has been a staple of this program for five years, but he only has three games left. "I have been thinking about it since the first game. I've got to play my heart out these last three games for USC."
- Asked about his legacy, Havili kept it simple. "I was dependable. That I was a good player here and guys respected me on and off the field."
- Havili is renowned for his work ethic, so I asked him about the freshman that are redshirting this season to see who is putting in the most work to get better. "Kyle Prater is probably one of the hardest workers. He's always out there early and out there late," said the senior captain, who also acknowledged tight ends Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble. "The tight ends are always out here because they have Rhett [Ellison] as their leader and he's probably the hardest worker on the team."
- Senior captain Malcolm Smith is also well aware that his college career is coming to an end. "I have been thinking about it all season," Smith echoed Havili's sentiments. "Every game is one less opportunity. It's been a long time coming, but it's definitely come and gone very fast."
- Smith has made it clear to his teammates how badly he wants to get a win this weekend. "We haven't won there and it's a big deal for us to get a win and not go out as just losing in the state of Oregon."
- Lane Kiffin did not know that Jacquizz Rodgers has never fumbled in a regular season college game, but he described the streak as "phenomenal." Malcolm Smith tried to explain it, "He's got those arms that lock the ball down, biceps and everything."
- Here is Kiffin explaining the final preparations for Oregon State...