The USC defense faces a monumental challenge this week, while also trying to remain disciplined.
- The penalty questions will not go away for this team. Yesterday, Robert Woods talked about the team having "too much pride" when it comes to defending teammates. "It's not a street fight," Lane Kiffin said. "It's a game and there's rules within it. A lot of them have the mentality where they're trained to protect their brother and that's cost us in a lot of situations."
- S T.J. McDonald, who was hit with two personal fouls against Arizona, pointed to the bigger picture. "We've got to take within ourselves the fact that we're representing a lot of people out there on the field. The players that came before us, all the people that are watching us, we don't want to display an undisciplined team."
- (Photo by Jonathan Moore)
- Both McDonald and Drew McAllister were flagged for making contact with a sliding quarterback, which is a major quandary when facing mobile QBs like Matt Scott and Marcus Mariota. "You feel like they are a running back at some point, especially when it's a designed run that's not a quarterback scramble," McDonald said. "It's a quarterback so you want to make him pay for running the ball, but as they are going down, you've got to avoid it as best as you can."
- As always against this Oregon team, open field tackling will be the key. "It will be just like last year," said Kiffin. "You're going to have to make those tackles in space."
- With Kenjon Barner as the primary ball carrier, the Ducks rushing attack is more physical than it has been in the past. "They are still as explosive as they were last year," said S Jawanza Starling. "They run a little more physical this year and that's been a good thing for them on offense."
- Lane Kiffin has not announced a starter at left tackle between Max Tuerk and Aundrey Walker. "We feel really confident with both guys," the head coach said. "Max played really well last week, [but] this would be much more of a test this week with their ability to rush with their two ends, especially with [Dion] Jordan on third downs."
- The Trojans will play their final four games in Los Angeles, including three in the Coliseum. They are happy to be home. "I am just excited for an exciting atmosphere," said McDonald. "We've got a nasty taste in our mouth. One thing you want is respect back and this is a quick way we can do it. We hope the Coliseum is rocking and we just want to go out there and put on a good show."
- Here is Lane Kiffin's presser...