USC tailback Allen Bradford, who was mostly shut down last week at Stanford, is looking to regain his form of two weeks ago when the Trojans play California on Saturday at the Coliseum.
Bradford rushed for 223 yards in USC's 32-31 loss to Washington on Oct. 2. He was held to 33 yards in the Trojans' 37-35 loss to Stanford.
"There were a few times when I could have cut back and other times when I should have stayed on track," he said Wednesday. "I've got to be a little more patient on some runs and explode on others."
USC faces a Cal defense that ranks first in the Pacific 10 Conference and eighth in the nation. The Golden Bears are giving up 106 yards rushing per game.
With freshman Dillon Baxter sidelined because of a foot injury, the Trojans will play Cal with three healthy tailbacks: Bradford, junior Marc Tyler and senior C.J. Gable.
Tyler had 11 yards in three carries and caught a pass for 10 yards against Stanford. He also threw a fourth-quarter pass from the wildcat formation that might have resulted in a touchdown if fullback Stanley Havili had been able to haul it in.
"That was probably the best ball I've probably ever thrown in my life," Tyler said. "It was maybe an inch too far. I think Stanley would have caught it if his shoulder wasn't messed up because he always catches those."
Woods continues work on defense
Freshman receiver Robert Woods, who worked at cornerback Tuesday, took more reps at the spot and Coach Lane Kiffin said he was "very seriously" considering utilizing him in that role.
With impending scholarship limits because of NCAA sanctions, Kiffin has spoken previously about the need to possibly develop two-way players. Woods intercepted 23 passes in three seasons at Gardena Serra High.
"He's kind of the first guy we're looking at," Kiffin said.
Now that's clock management
Kiffin heard from the Pac-10 office regarding his complaint about the clock not starting at the correct time on the Trojans' final offensive play against Stanford. The delay prevented USC from using more time before the Cardinal launched its game-winning drive.
"They have dealt with it and that's all I can say," Kiffin said.
Each Pac-10 school, not the conference, hires its own timer.
Dave Cutaia, coordinator of officiating for the Pac-10, said, "The Pacific 10 Conference office has been in touch with Stanford University regarding the timing issues."
Asked whether the officials erred, Cutaia declined to comment other than to say, "Time was adjusted by officials four different times on the field during the game."
Reaction to agent story
Kiffin said he was not surprised by revelations in a Sports Illustrated story that detailed former agent Josh Luchs' paying of college football players in the 1990s, including some at UCLA and USC.
"I think that it's just another example of stuff like that happening over a lot of years at a lot of places," Kiffin said, adding "Around here, we're at the highest level of compliance right now with the education of our players and doing everything that we can so it doesn't happen anymore."
Athletic Director Pat Haden said in a statement: "This is another example of the insidiousness of unscrupulous agents and why it is important that USC and all schools be especially vigilant to the misdeeds of outsiders."