October 3, 2010 |
Lane Kiffin had not walked out of the Coliseum on the losing end of a football game since 2001. That also was the last year USC was unranked during the regular season. But that changed Sunday, the Trojans' 32-31 loss to Washington the night before dropping the Trojans out of the Associated Press top 25 media poll and putting Kiffin on the spot as he attempts to rally his players for Saturday's game at Stanford. A loss to Oregon dropped Stanford from ninth to 16th in the AP poll, but Coach Jim Harbaugh's Cardinal is among Pacific 10 Conference teams no longer intimidated by the Trojans.
October 20, 2010 |
USC Coach Lane Kiffin this week posited that, if not for two defensive lapses by the Trojans, quarterback Matt Barkley would be a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy. On Wednesday, after a rain-soaked practice, Barkley acknowledged that he has eyed winning a Heisman at some point in his career. "It's definitely a goal of mine," the sophomore said, "but ? I've said this before: You can be good two weeks and then plummet the next week. " Barkley, who has passed for 20 touchdowns, with only four interceptions, hopes to avoid that fate when the Trojans resume their schedule Oct. 30 against top-ranked Oregon.
October 30, 2010 |
USC receiver Ronald Johnson , who had taken a back seat to freshman Robert Woods the last few games, reemerged in the Trojans' 53-32 loss against top-ranked Oregon on Saturday at the Coliseum. Johnson, a senior, caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a two-point conversion pass and returned four punts for 94 yards, including a 55-yarder that helped set up a third-quarter go-ahead touchdown. Woods wasn't bad, either. He had seen catches for 58 yards and returned eight kickoffs for 200 yards.
November 25, 2010 |
While senior quarterback Mitch Mustain remains on track to start for USC for the first time Saturday against Notre Dame, freshman Tommy Rees is preparing for his third start for the Fighting Irish. Don't expect Rees to be overcome by playing in a historic stadium. Taking over for injured starter Dayne Crist , he made his first start at home in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus. Then came a neutral site matchup at Yankee Stadium against Army. Now, Rees ? who lived in California as a boy when his father, Bill , served as a UCLA assistant and recruiting coordinator ?
November 11, 2010 |
USC receiver Robert Woods , slowed last week because of a back injury and illness, is looking to return to his highlight-reel form on Saturday night at Arizona. Woods caught 26 passes and scored five touchdowns in the three games leading up to last week's game against Arizona State. But the freshman from Carson was limited in the Trojans' 34-33 victory at the Coliseum, catching only three passes for 18 yards. "You can definitely tell, without his presence, how much our offense was kind of changing," quarterback Matt Barkley said Thursday.
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.
November 7, 2010 |
USC freshman tailback Dillon Baxter started for the first time Saturday night in the Trojans' Pacific 10 Conference game at the Coliseum. Baxter rushed for 52 yards in a team-high 17 carries and caught four passes for 26 yards. It marked the end of a comeback of sorts for Baxter, who was suspended for the season opener against Hawaii because of a violation of team rules. Baxter had played as a backup to junior Marc Tyler and senior Allen Bradford and went into the game having rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown in 37 carries.
August 15, 2011 |
USC took Monday off from practice, but players still attended meetings in preparation for their Sept. 3 opener against Minnesota. That gave USC's running backs coach another chance to quiz and encourage his charges. "I've finally got the [meeting] room the way I always had it," the coach formerly known as Kennedy Pola said last week. Much has changed since the former Trojans fullback returned to USC in 2010 for his second stint as an assistant coach. His name, for one. It won't be official until all of the legal paperwork he initiated has been processed, but he already is listed as Kennedy Polamalu in the school's 2011 media guide.
September 7, 2011 |
Robert Woods felt as if he was in sync with quarterback Matt Barkley during a record-setting, 17-reception performance in USC's season opening victory over Minnesota. Afterward, he also felt sore. "That was like three games of catches," he said Wednesday. "Three games of hits. " To preserve the sophomore receiver, USC Coach Lane Kiffin plans to rest Woods during Thursday practices. Woods does not favor the idea. He prefers being in the huddle as the Trojans prepare for Saturday's inaugural Pacific 12 Conference game against Utah at the Coliseum.