A light "Thursday" practice under extreme heat...
- USC will have two "Thursday" practices this week, which means a lot of scout team preparation and game plan execution.
- The defense has had a strong week coming off its best performance of the season against Cal. Lane Kiffin is happy with his front seven and safeties, but he wants to see his second and third corners improve. "There's no secret. We have not played well there. We're working on it."
- Young players tend to stand out during bye weeks, and freshman CB Kevon Seymour has opened Kiffin's eyes. "It's needed. We need some snaps out of him at corner challenging Torin Harris. He's going to be a really good player here."
- Nickell Robey continues his outstanding play at the other corner spot. "They just don't throw at him," said Kiffin about Robey (pictured by John McGillen). "If they don't give you the opportunity, it's hard to get numbers."
- All-American S T.J. McDonald has expanded his role this season by playing defensive end in obvious pass rush situations. "[His skillset] is unique," said Kiffin. "We did some similar things with Eric Berry [at Tennessee]. It really kinda came from watching T.J. blocking kicks and how well he rushed."
- McDonald likes attacking offensive tackles. "I bring a little more speed off the edge. You get to be one-on-one with a slower guy and make a move, get some pressure on the quarterback," McDonald said.
- The safety has been working with defensive line coach Ed Orgeron on his pass rush technique, which will only make him a more versatile player at the next level. "I wanted to add different elements to my game," he said. "Whatever it is that I am asked to do, I just want to do it at a high level."
- Here is a long media session with the head coach...