Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor
Saturday's early morning session was more or less a low-key, no pads tune-up for tomorrow's 11:30 a.m. scrimmage at the Coliseum...
- Small hit: Lane Kiffin says he expects almost everyone to play in tomorrow's preseason game, with the notable exception of RB D.J. Morgan (knee), S Marshall Jones (knee) and WR George Farmer (concussion).
- Farmer sustained the concussion during yesterday's practice, and for precautionary reasons will have more tests run on him over the next few days.
- WR Kyle Prater returned after not participating in Friday's contact drills. The redshirt freshman struggled at times however, dropping three catchable passes from QBs Matt Barkley and Max Wittek.
- Yellow jersey no more: LB Chris Galippo practiced for the first time in three days without the no-contact jersey. While Saturday's two-hour affair involved no tackling, the redshirt senior was noticeably active despite the persisting AC joint sprain in his right shoulder. Galippo scored the only defensive touchdown on Saturday, recovering a bad snap by C Khaled Holmes in the end zone. The touchdown sent the entire offense on a lap around the field.
- Galippo on his shoulder: "I plan on scrimmaging tomorrow, so I wanted to get in there and make sure I could do some things full speed. It's something I have been rehabbing for the last two weeks and it's pretty strong. It would be nice if you could play healthy, but this is a game where you have to work through injuries."
- In his absence, the inexperienced threesome of Lamar Dawson, Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard have been impressive to say the least. On Saturday, Pullard recorded the team's lone interception on a tipped Wittek pass.
- Galippo on the young LBs: "They are good. I think all of our young guys absorb things, listen to the coaches and listen to the older guys. Each one of those guys are athletic, they all have a bright future."
- Special teams drills closed out Saturday's practice and CB Nickell Robey served as the primary return man once again. WR Robert Woods had been splitting time with Robey throughout camp until a right ankle injury sidelined him for the past week.
- RB Amir Carlisle (pictured above by John McGillen) continues to dazzle both with his shiftiness and ability to get out in the open field. Along with Dawson, Kiffin said the freshman halfback has proven he has what it takes to play right away. "Guys go after him and he gets up and keeps going. He's done a surprisingly good job for a small guy in short yardage situations. He's been remarkable, kind of a Robert Woods type story in terms of preparation."
- Outside of one bad snap on Saturday, Khaled Holmes continues to look more and more comfortable at the center position. In response to a question on Holmes' transition Kiffin said, "the move makes us extremely functional compared to where we would be, because he's so smart and helps out the young guards with all of the calls."
- Kiffin on USC being slotted at No.25 in the AP Poll: "I didn't even know that, because as you know that's not something I concern myself with. We don't even know who our left and right guards are going to be, so the last thing we are worried about is where we are going to be in the poll 14 weeks from now."
- Tomorrow's preseason game will be held at the Coliseum at 11:30 a.m., and according to Kiffin will be the last full-padded, inter-squad scrimmage before the team opens its season two weeks from today against Minnesota. Here's the coach...