Minnesota Wednesday: Notes

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One more live practice before the big game...

  • The injury list is down to OG Abe Markowitz, RB Amir Carlisle and WR De'Von Flournoy.  If Markowitz cannot go, the left guard spot will come down to Jeremy Galten, who worked with the ones today, and Martin Coleman.
  • Javorius-Allen.jpgUSC will actually add a player tomorrow with the long awaited arrival of Javorious "Buck" Allen (pictured).  The power running back was cleared by the NCAA and will begin classes Friday.
  • From a format perspective, today was a Thursday practice.  Tomorrow will be a second Thursday practice.  Thursday practices tend to be less physical.
  • Scary play of the day: Safety Demetrius Wright and corner Anthony Brown crashed into each other going for a deep ball.  Both players stayed down for a moment, but popped up and jogged off.
  • Plays of the Day: A Curtis McNeal two-part series.  First, the 5'7" running back lifted Devon Kennard on a blitz pick-up and slammed him to the ground.  Later, he closed practice by diving for a TD at the pylon, which brought the offense into a spontaneous chorus of the fight song.
  • The kickers took a field trip to the Coliseum midway through practice.  Freshman Andre Heidari was distracted by the massive new scoreboard.  "I got the chills just walking in there today, so it is going to be fun," he said.
  • The Trojans were supposed to have a true freshman kicker and punter this season, but veteran Kyle Negrete beat Kris Albarado for the punting gig.  We'll have a feature later today on Negrete.
  • As for Heidari, he hopes to live up to his camp reputation as a kicker who thrives under game pressure.  "In games, I can really focus and put my mind on the situation," said Heidari who did not miss a kick in the scrimmages.
  • Will he be nervous?  "First game jitters will be there for sure," he admitted.  "I'm going to have to get over it and focus on kicking it through the uprights."
  • Staying with freshman, Lane Kiffin believes Lamar Dawson could be one of the "five to eight" true freshmen around the country who make a "significant impact."
  • USC is a heavy favorite Saturday, but Kiffin is not worried about the Trojans taking the Gophers lightly.  "I would be shocked if we were overconfident," he said.  "We haven't done anything."
  • As for pressure, "The expectation here is to win every game that we play," the head coach said.
  • Here's Kiffin...

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A little preview of Minnesota's game strategy:

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