Fall Camp #11: Notes


Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

  • The injury report has thinned a bit: CB Torin Harris returned after a week-long absence due to a concussion. S T.J. McDonald practiced after leaving Thursday's session with an ankle injury. LB Dion Bailey (foot), who was on crutches just two days ago, also returned to practice on Saturday. LB Chris Galippo (shoulder) dressed, but did not participate in any football activities. DSC_0417.JPG
  • Unfortunately, Saturday's practice claimed a new casualty in TE Rhett Ellison. The senior got his left thumb caught on the cleat of P Kyle Negrete during a special teams drill, and did not return to practice. Kiffin said the open wound on the thumb did require stitches.
  • WR Robert Woods (ankle) was held out of practice again on Saturday, and while Kiffin doesn't believe the injury is serious, the sophomore wideout is listed as doubtful for Sunday's scrimmage.
  • WR Markeith Ambles was held out of practice again on Saturday. While the coaching staff won't receive his final grades for another 24 hours, Kiffin hinted that Ambles will likely not be eligible this season.
  • Kiffin stressed the importance of tomorrow's scrimmage (the second of fall camp), saying that it will go a long way towards providing clarity for position battles at RB, No.2 WR (Brandon Carswell as of now continues to be the front-runner) behind Woods, OLB, S, LG and RG and the No.2 QB spot.
  • Asked what he wants to see from Matt Barkley tomorrow, Kiffin said "a higher completion percentage." Through 11 practices, both freshmen gunslingers Cody Kessler and Max Wittek have higher completion percentages than Barkley. Although Kiffin said that could be attributed to No.7 taking more risks down the field.
  • Speaking of Kessler, more than 30 minutes after practice, the freshman was still on the field working on routes with Woods, Marqise Lee and Amir Carlisle- a nice sight to see as the back-up QB competition heats up.
  • With Ellison out of commission on Saturday, TE Randall Telfer was arguably the star on offense, making several long receptions over the middle.
  • Play of the day: Thanks to the pass rush of DT Christian Tupou, Matt Barkley was forced to throw on the run to his 6'5" target, WR Kyle Prater. And despite giving up almost nine inches to Prater, CB Nickell Robey jumped the route perfectly for an easy pick 6.
  • Kiffin on Robey: "He's exactly the way we describe a Trojan, and what we look for in terms of academics, how he handles himself off the field, to the weight room, to training, to nutrition to practice habits. I'm not saying he is the same player, but he has the same kind of attitude and work ethic that Troy Polamalu had."
  • Another sophomore receiving high praise this fall, has been RB Dillon Baxter (pictured above by John McGillen). While a lot has been made about his improved speed, he says the biggest improvement he has made occurred in the maturity department. "I think it just comes with time and growing up. It takes awhile and right when you are getting here coming from high school, you tend do high school things. I think it's just time for me really."
  • Tomorrow's scrimmage with once again be held at the Coliseum, and is set to kick off at 12:30 p.m. It will be closed to the general public due to the NCAA sanctions. Here's the coach on the team's final tune-up heading into their second preseason game.


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