Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor
After wrapping up the second scrimmage of Fall Camp, the Trojans headed back to Howard Jones Field for practice.
- Coach Kiffin said the team is "headed in the right direction" with only 17 players sidelined with injuries today. Notable returning players included Justin Davis and Silas Redd who participated in individual drills early in the practice.
- The story of Fall Camp continues to be the impressive play on the defensive side of the ball. Kiffin said he feels much more comfortable with the defense than he did at this time last year, citing the experience within the front seven. Freshman Quinton Powell has stepped up lately, making big moves on defense in the scrimmage and at today's practice.
- After watching film from yesterday the defense's dominance was even more apparent. If the game had ended at half-time the defense would have given up a total of -2 yards with five three-and-outs. Kiffin said the film revealed multiple play makers from the scrimmage including Hayes Pullard, Su'a Cravens, and George Uko.
- "We took ten clips and showed the team last night and it looked like they were playing in the biggest game of the year," said Coach Kiffin on the defense's performance. "We saw great effort and phenomenal plays."
- Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said the installation of the defense has been successful but there is still work to be done. "There was a lot of carry over from spring and I like the work they've put in," said Pendergast. "They were able to pick up the techniques and terms and things we introduced in the spring but we're still installing and it's still a work in progress."
- Pendergast agreed with Kiffin's praise of Devon Kennard and George Uko earlier in the week, stating that Kennard has really stepped up as the leader of the entire defense. The coach included Lamar Dawson and Leonard Williams as leaders on the defensive side as well.
- According to the defensive coordinator, it's too early to tell how many games it will take to have everything on the defense click. "I don't know how these guys are going to react when they get in that live situation. I'm looking for guys who don't have that deer in the headlights look and we haven't been in games yet so I don't know who those guys are."
- Both quarterbacks had a successful day at practice and Kiffin said he is no closer to determining a starter at this point. "Ideally we would have liked to have picked it by now. Ideally we would not like to have two quarterbacks come starting day. But you never say never."
- Here is Kiffin on the status of the quarterback competition and his assessment of the second scrimmage after watching film...