September 13, 2008 |
For 19 years and 278 games, Clay Matthews played linebacker in the NFL. Four times he made the Pro Bowl for the Cleveland Browns. If anyone knows what qualities are needed to succeed at the position, it's Matthews. He has two sons playing linebacker for USC and Oregon. And every Friday night, as the defensive coordinator at Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Matthews sends out junior Malcolm Jones and wonders if he'll be his next top linebacker. "He's not ready for the NFL," Matthews said.
October 18, 2011 |
Matt Barkley watched from the sideline at the Coliseum last November as Notre Dame ended USC's eight-game winning streak in the series. The Trojans quarterback had suffered an ankle injury the previous week. "I was feeling kind of helpless," Barkley said Tuesday. "It's a terrible feeling. " Barkley is looking forward to Saturday's game at Notre Dame Stadium, where as a freshman he passed for 380 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-27 Trojans victory in 2009. "I just remember it being electric," he said of the environment, adding that it was not as hostile as Oregon's Autzen Stadium or Ohio State's Ohio Stadium.
October 20, 2011 |
How would Robert Woods defend Robert Woods? "I don't think I want to say," USC's star receiver said Thursday, laughing. By his standards, Woods had an off game last week against California, catching a season-low five passes, so he's hoping to break out for a big game Saturday against Notre Dame. And there's not a whole lot the Fighting Irish defense might be able to do to stop him, said Kerry Cooks , Notre Dame's cornerbacks coach. "They move him around, so you can't really get a bead on him where you'd like to run some combination coverages and potentially bracket the guy," he said.
October 26, 2010 |
Monte Kiffin is architect of the famed Tampa 2 defense, a scheme that USC's assistant head coach for defense acknowledged Tuesday would be of no use against top-ranked Oregon and its high-speed spread attack. "The Tampa 2 isn't exactly what you shut down the triple option with," he said, laughing. "That's for a whole different deal. " Kiffin, father of Coach Lane Kiffin , had great success with the Tampa 2 in the NFL. But he was running different schemes when he faced the wishbone and other offensive styles during college coaching stints at Nebraska, Arkansas and North Carolina State before moving to the NFL in the early 1980s.
October 13, 2010 |
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.
October 6, 2010 |
It was not exactly a performance that inspired confidence. Or hope. USC Coach Lane Kiffin was anxious to see if either Joe Houston or Jake Harfman would establish himself in a reopened kicking competition, but the two went zero for Wednesday, combining to miss six field-goal attempts. Asked how concerned he was about the Trojans' kicking game, Kiffin did not hesitate. "Extremely," said Kiffin, whose team is preparing for Saturday's Pacific 10 Conference game at No. 16 Stanford.
August 13, 2011 |
Lane Kiffin seemed a ridiculous hire. What school facing severe sanctions hires a coach facing sanctions at Tennessee? It smacked of being a desperate act of an imperiled athletic director, Mike Garrett, to hold together the vestiges of a bygone era before Garrett was gone. Kiffin, a piece of Pete Carroll's glory years, was an obvious, selfish, short-term fix to keep a recruiting class from bailing. Never mind that it worked. USC has been able to forestall a calamity greater than the calamity of going 8-5. The Trojans proactively hoarded talent ahead of impending NCAA sanctions and are in such decent shape entering 2011 that they've been picked to win a Pac-12 South division they aren't, technically, allowed to win. The real pain starts next year, when USC loses 10 scholarships a year for three seasons.
September 17, 2011 |
Rhett Ellison is a team captain and one of USC's more versatile players. The senior started at tight end in 2010 but was moved to fullback this season. Through two games, however, USC Coach Lane Kiffin seemed apprehensive about calling his number. Ellison finally had a larger role in USC's 38-17 victory over Syracuse on Saturday night at the Coliseum. Ellison caught five passes for 31 yards, including a five-yard touchdown play in the first quarter that helped the Trojans overcome a 3-0 deficit.
October 7, 2010 |
It seemed like a no-brainer, but USC Coach Lane Kiffin waited until Thursday to make it official. Senior Allen Bradford , who rushed for 223 yards last week against Washington, will start at tailback Saturday against No. 16 Stanford. "Hopefully, he'll be a big part of the game," Kiffin said. "We're going to need to run the ball. We're going to need to run it a lot. " Bradford was No. 1 on the depth chart at the start of training camp, but he was displaced by junior Marc Tyler , who started four of the first five games, including last week's 32-31 loss against Washington.
December 5, 2010 |
Allen Bradford tried hard to find the words. After five years of frustration, USC's senior tailback finished his career with a performance that will become part of the lore of the USC- UCLA rivalry. Bradford rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a long touchdown pass play to lead USC to a 28-14 victory over the Bruins on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. "I couldn't have dreamed it, but I'm glad it happened," Bradford said. "To go down in history like this, just to top off my career, I couldn't ask for a better stage.