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USC FOOTBALL FYI

Lane Kiffin says tackling is a part of practice again for Trojans

The USC coach instituted a no-tackling decree last season because of a thin roster. Kiffin expects the hitting to pay off Saturday when the team scrimmages for the final time this spring.

April 21, 2011|By Gary Klein

Lane Kiffin is not afraid to experiment.

USC's football coach moved the Trojans to a schedule of morning workouts for spring practice and has a similar plan for the fall.

But Kiffin also will revert to the past come training camp, abandoning the no-tackling decree he imposed for practices last fall for fear of depleting an already thin roster.

The Trojans tackled poorly in their 2010 opener at Hawaii and were plagued by the problem all season.

"We're going to practice like we used to around here," Kiffin said Thursday.

Tackling drills were part of USC's 14 spring workouts and Kiffin expects the emphasis on hitting to pay off when the Trojans scrimmage for the final time Saturday at the Coliseum.

"We're going to go on as if we're fully loaded and run a bunch of plays and push guys and see who shows up," Kiffin said.

It remains to be seen how many players will be available for the scrimmage.

Two weeks ago, tailback Marc Tyler suffered a concussion and tailback Dillon Baxter suffered a high ankle sprain. Both practiced Thursday for the first time since they were hurt.

So many others are injured or recovering that Kiffin said he would not release a depth chart until after the scrimmage. USC coaches typically release a depth chart the Friday before the final scrimmage.

"There will be a lot of question marks on there," Kiffin said. "As far I'm concerned it won't mean anything."

Back in action

Receiver Kyle Prater practiced for the first time since suffering a foot injury in off-season workouts.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Prater enrolled at USC in the spring of 2010 but was forced to redshirt last season because of injuries.

Prater said he might go through warmups on Saturday but won't play in the scrimmage.

"There's no point in forcing anything right now because the season is a long way from here," he said. "I just want to make sure I'm back for the season."

Quick hits

Linebacker Hayes Pullard intercepted a pass by Matt Barkley and safety Drew McAllister intercepted a pass by Jesse Scroggins. … Tickets for the scrimmage are $10. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free.

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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