The Trojans are preparing for an uptempo game Saturday in the desert.
- In the week leading up to the Colorado game, the coaches treated the Buffaloes like Alabama, so the players would not take the game for granted. However, once the game started, the defensive coaches used the game to practice for the next two weeks. "We rotated based off of preparing for the next two opponents," said Lane Kiffin about substituting far more frequently. "Even though they weren't no-huddle, we treated our reps that way."
- Arizona is not exactly like Oregon offensively, but the Wildcats will pose similar problems in terms of pace. "They are a no-huddle team that tries to get lined up fast and tire you down," said DT George Uko. "You've just got to get your cleats in the ground and play."
- Uko estimated that it takes about six to nine consecutive plays before he starts feeling his conditioning against a no-huddle offense, but he knows the offensive linemen across from him are hurting too.
- Mobile quarterbacks like Matt Scott can be a nightmare for defensive linemen, but Uko actually likes playing dual-threat QBs. "Sometimes they don't look at their reads. Instead of reading, they watch the line looking to run," Uko cited Cal's Zach Maynard. He gets more frustrated by quarterbacks who release the ball quickly.
- Against the No. 5 offense in the country, Uko is excited about the opportunity for his defense to make a statement. "I love how our schedule has played out. We've got our stuff down, and now it's time to play big time ball. Our defense is ready to shock people."
- T.J. McDonald stressed forcing "three-and-outs" as the best way to keep the no-huddle from finding its rhythm and the defense fresh. McDonald and Nickell Robey are used to playing every snap, but even they might end up in a rotation Saturday. "I'm not a selfish player by any means, but I'd be lying to you if I told you I didn't want to be out there at all times."
- The Trojans will have DT Leonard Williams available for Saturday. He was not suspended by the Pac-12 for the altercation which led to his ejection against Colorado. "It was a learning moment for a true freshman," Kiffin said. "I know he understands that and it will never happen again."
- USC always practices in the morning, so the head coach expects his team to respond well to the 12:30 p.m. kickoff.
- Here is Lane Kiffin...