Syracuse Tuesday: Notes

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USC starts preparations for its big trip to the Big Apple.

  • The offense dominated practice today.  At one point, the defense called a timeout to regroup after getting carved up by all three Trojan quarterbacks.
  • On the positive side, the passing game looked extremely sharp, including a strong performance by redshirt freshman WR Victor Blackwell in 7-on-7.  The Mater Dei product made his first collegiate catch late in the opener against Hawaii.
  • The tempo of practice was fast today to prepare for Syracuse, which runs some no-huddle.  Plus, the Trojans ended a steamy morning with extra conditioning.  The forecast predicts 79-degree temperatures on Saturday and expect humidity.
  • Syracuse leads the country in passing yards after QB Ryan Nassib lit Northwestern up for 470 yards.  "We gave up more yards than we should have to Hawaii with a quarterback that had never played.  Here's a quarterback who is setting school records, is a huge challenge this week," said Lane Kiffin.
  • Woods-Hawaii12-SH.jpgUSC became the first No. 1 team to drop in the AP poll after winning a game by 35+ points since Penn State in 1997, according to ESPN Stats Info.  As you would expect, Kiffin could not care less about the rankings this time of year.
  • Robert Woods was overshadowed by Marqise Lee in the first game, but he is healthy and caught two touchdowns.  "I felt fast out there," said Woods.
  • A year ago, Woods caught 17 balls to carry the Trojans to a victory over Minnesota, but the offense has diversified since then.  "You can see the different weapons we have on the field," Woods said.  "That's what this offense is about, spreading the ball this year.  There's just too many weapons."
  • (Photo of Woods by Jon SooHoo)
  • He might have had a bigger statistical game if not for all the pass interference calls that cost him catches, but gained the team first downs.  Although, Woods admits drawing flags is not as much fun as catching passes.  "I guess I've got to learn," he said.  "Those are balls that when they are in there, it's mine."
  • Freshman WR Nelson Agholor was praised by Kiffin for springing Lee's kickoff return for a touchdown.  Woods expects the youngster will respond well to his first road game.  "He is pretty calm.  He is not too excited and jittery.  Just focus on the task at hand...and breathe."
  • Here is the first of two interview sessions with Lane Kiffin that we will post today...

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