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Lane Kiffin didn't have much to say during his current press conference, as the USC Trojans are on a bye week following their 27-9 victory over the California Golden Bears. Here is the news courtesy of his presser.
Kiffin hopes to have running back D.J. Morgan back from knee surgery for next week's game against Utah. Morgan has been out for awhile, leaving USC with essentially a two running back rotation of Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal.
Outside linebacker Hayes Pullard did not have a sling on his left arm before or after practice. He was seen in one after Saturday's game.
Freshman linebacker/defensive end Jabari Ruffin is probably going to redshirt.
Most of the coaches this week are out on recruiting trips due to the bye week. USC's next game is just over a week from now on Thursday night when the Trojans take on Utah.
Watch the press conference in its entirety below.
USC cornerback Brian Baucham has been hospitalized with a breathing issue that occurred following the Trojans' win over Cal on Saturday.
USC has averaged four sacks per game this season.
An updated look at the Pac-12 standings through four weeks of play.
With a bye week on tap to help them get healthy, the USC Trojans might not have to worry about the recovery time for center Khaled Holmes after his brother told reporters that Holmes's injury was simply a "tweaked ankle."
Holmes, whose absence was noticeable during the Trojans' upset loss to the Stanford Cardinal last weekend, was injured again against the California Golden Bears. But according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the injury the senior sustained is just a minor tweak.
Alex Holmes, a former USC player, was initially critical of Khaled's decision to play, and when Khaled was removed from the game after the tweak, was unhappy with the result.
That's a damn shame. He shouldn't be in— Alex Holmes (@Trojan81) September 23, 2012
To clarify all of my comments. Khaled INSISTED on playing. No one made him play. he wouldn't listen to me.— Alex Holmes (@Trojan81) September 23, 2012
The Trojans next hit the field Oct. 4 against the Utah Utes.
For more USC coverage, check out Conquest Chronicles.
Running backs Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal ran all over the California Golden Bears in the USC Trojans' 27-9 victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, as the ground proved a key factor in USC's ninth-straight victory over California.
Over at Conquest Chronicles, the guys were more than encouraged by a breakout game for a rushing attack that had taken some criticism for not being more involved — both from the team and the media.
Both players topped the century mark (Redd: 21 carries, 158 rushing yards, McNeal: 10 carries, 115 rushing yards), and as a team, USC finished with 296 yards (7.4 yards per carry) via the ground. It was the first time since 2008 against Washington State that the Trojans had multiple 100-yard rushers. McNeal and Redd can also give credit to an offensive line that was heavily criticized after the Stanford game.
As the Trojans won the battle of possession time and offensive production, the USC defense also kept the California attack in check, registering seven sacks and two interceptions.
Thanks to constant pressure from the front four, [quarterback Zach] Maynard and Cal's tailbacks weren't able to generate much offensively all afternoon long. But it just wasn't the play of the line, as the defense as a whole was responsible for holding Cal to just 250 total yards of offense.
For more USC coverage, check out all the action at Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans got back on track with their 27-9 victory over the Cal Bears on Saturday, improving to 3-1 on the season behind a strong running game and a stout defense that did not allow a touchdown. Here are some numbers to remember from Saturday's win.
Double Century Mark: Both Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal topped the century mark in yards on the ground. Redd ran for 158 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown, while McNeal chipped in with 115 yards on just 10 carries, including a 62-yard scamper. Saturday marked the first time since Oct. 25, 2008 that the Trojans had more than one 100-yard rusher in a game. Four years ago, the trio of Broderick Green, Stafon Johnson, and C.J. Gable turned the trick against Washington State.
Sacks By The Bushel: The Trojans had six sacks against Cal, one fewer than they had in the first three games combined. That included three sacks by junior defensive end Morgan Breslin. Teammate Devon Kennard perhaps put it best after the game, tweeting, "Mad respect for the way Morgan Breslin plays the game."
Marqise Receiver: Sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee picked up where he left off last season, and had 11 catches for 94 yards with two touchdowns against Cal. Lee has caught at least 10 passes in four of his last five games, and has eight straight games with eight catches or more. In four games this season, Lee has 40 catches for 457 yards and six touchdowns in the air, and in his last eight games Lee has 79 catches, 1,066 yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns.
The Streak: USC has now beaten Cal nine straight seasons. In the first eight of those games, the Trojans outscored the Bears by an average of 29-10, making Saturday's 27-9 victory right in line.
For more news and notes on USC football, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans running backs were let loose and took full advantage of their opportunities in the team's 27-9 win over the California Golden Bears Saturday, giving the Trojans a rebound win after being upset last week. The major concern going forward, however, will be the health of center Khaled Holmes, who was hurt again.
Curtis McNeal starred in the first half for the Trojans and finished the game with 115 rushing yards in just ten carries. The senior running back did have a turnover, though, as McNeal put a ball on the turf in the third quarter that was recovered by the Golden Bears. Meanwhile, Silas Redd took 21 carries for 158 rushing yards and found the end zone once.
However, Trojans star quarterback Matt Barkley did not perform as well as he could have. The senior quarterback completed 22 of 34 passes while throwing for just 192 yards. While he did have two touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter, he was also at fault for a pair of interceptions.
Outside of three field goals by Golden Bears kicker Vincenzo D'Amato, not much went right for the California Golden Bears offense.
Box Score Hero: Trojans running back Curtis McNeal accumulated 115 yards on the ground in just ten carries, good for an average of 11.5 yards per carry.
Rankings Ramifications: The California Golden Bears will remain unranked and the USC Trojans may improve slightly in the rankings following their home win. But that will depend on the teams ahead of them suffering losses.
But Did They Cover? The Trojans opened as 17-point favorites and were bet down to as low as 16 or 16.5-point favorites. Since they won the game by 18 points, the Trojans were able to cover.
For More On This Game: For more on the California Golden Bears, join the discussion over at California Golden Blogs. For more on USC football, join the discussion over at Conquest Chronicles. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's college football hub.
Next Week's Schedule: Now 3-1 on the season, the Trojans will prepare to take on the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 4. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears will look to recover Saturday, Sept. 29 against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Memorial Stadium.
This article was originally published on SB Nation.
USC Trojans starting center Khaled Holmes suffered an injury in the fourth quarter during Saturday's game against the California Golden Bears. The star center appeared to re-aggravate his right ankle injury and needed assistance to leave the field. Holmes was originally injured in a matinee against the Syracuse Orange a few weeks ago.
In his place, the Trojans summoned Abe Markowitz to replace Holmes, one of USC's four team captains, as the team's center. Holmes was later seen with ice wrapped around his right ankle.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, the injury appeared to be a serious one as the 22-year-old center was on the ground in pain and needed to be carted off. For the Trojans, the injury to Holmes will certainly be a huge loss. Holmes is not only the team's best offensive lineman, but he is a leader on and off the field for the team while also being in charge of protection schemes.
Holmes is projected to be one of the top picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, but has now injured his right ankle twice this season. The 6'4", 305-pound senior is an All-American candidate at center. The star lineman is also a top candidate for the Rimington Trophy and the Outland Trophy.
For more news and notes on the USC Trojans, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.
This story was originally published on SB Nation.
Entering the third quarter with a comfortable 14-point lead, the USC Trojans were held scoreless in the third quarter and will now prepare to open the third quarter with a slim 17-9 lead over the California Golden Bears.
The 14-point advantage was trimmed down to just eight after Golden Bears kicker Vincenzo D'Amato booted a pair of field goals in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Trojans offense was unable to have the same success it did in the first half and were instead completely held scoreless in the third quarter of play.
A large reason for that is the Golden Bears have been able to dominate the time of possession battle, especially in the third quarter. The Trojans received just three possessions, one of which carried into the fourth quarter and another one that resulted into a turnover.
The Trojans continued to feature their running attack in the third quarter and it appears the team will continue with that plan of attack in the fourth, though running back Curtis McNeal did put a ball on the turf.
Looking to rebound from last week's upset, the USC Trojans are currently leading the California Golden Bears by the score of 17-3 after two quarters of play and have been dominant on both sides of the ball.
Star quarterback Matt Barkley hasn't looked like himself lately and the team will be hoping he can pick it up in the second half. The senior quarterback threw for 135 yards in the first half and one touchdown, but Barkley also threw a pair of interceptions.
The Trojans rushing attack has been dominant in the first half and is the main reason the team finds itself entering halftime with a comfortable lead. As a team, the Trojans have ran for 158 yards and found the end zone once. Running back Curtis McNeal rushed for 113 yards in just seven carries.
USC's defense has also been equally dominant, especially the run defense. The defensive unit is holding the Golden Bears rushing attack to just 1.7 yards per carry.
Hoping to rebound from last week's disappointing loss, the 13th-ranked USC Trojans are leading 7-0 over the California Golden Bears after the first quarter of Saturday's game. The Trojans have moved the ball with ease so far after generally struggling on offense against Stanford last week.
Other than an interception thrown by Matt Barkley in the red zone, USC has looked quite good on offense so far against the Golden Bears. The running game has been especially dominant, as the Trojans have already rushed for 119 yards on just nine carries.
Silas Redd got the scoring going midway through the first quarter with a 33-yard run, but Curtis McNeal leads USC in rushing so far with 77 yards on three carries. Overall, Barkley's numbers are once again pretty underwhelming so far: 6-of-9 for 36 yards with one interception.
The USC Trojans will square off against the California Golden Bears at 3 p.m. PT at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in an attempt to rebound from an agonizing defeat at the hands of the Bay Area's other Pac-12 squad, the Stanford Cardinal.
The Trojans (2-1) head into the contest as 17-point favorites, according to OddsShark and will likely be playing with a chip on their shoulder after all of the talk has been of trying for a salvaged season in Los Angeles and potential lost Heisman Trophy hope for quarterback Matt Barkley after a lackluster performance in Palo Alto.
Cal is 1-2 on the year and is coming off a narrow 35-28 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The game will air live on the Pac-12 Network as the Golden Bears look to open up conference play with a victory.
When Cal played USC a season ago, one of the few bright spots on the day was the play of the Golden Bears secondary. Matt Barkley is a hard quarterback to shut down, and they didn't necessarily do that, but it was a silver lining in a game filled with miscues and missed opportunities.
SB Nation's blog for the USC Trojans, Conquest Chronicles, did a Q&A with Cal's blog, California Golden Blogs, and asked about the secondary this time around, how they performed a week ago against Ohio State, and who could give USC troubles. One of the responses is below:
4. NorCalNick: We were all terrified of what USC's receivers would do to Cal last year, but in the end Cal's secondary was arguably the lone bright spot on the day, so I guess the Bears have hope. But true freshman Stefan McClure was a big part of what went right last year, and he's out injured.
As noted in the question, Cal's secondary seemed to play up the competition against Ohio State a week ago. They were fighting a losing effort, but Cal managed to take that game to the wire, and if you couple that with the fact that USC just suffered a loss at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal, some might be thinking that Cal has a bigger chance than they would have thought a week ago.
Still, the Cal fans and bloggers that were involved in the Q&A session didn't hold any of those delusions. When asked about their predictions for the game, two of them went with USC, while the other simply embraced his hatred of Stanford, which is plenty acceptable.
There was much criticism dealt to USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley after his team lost to the Stanford Cardinal, and he wasn't shying away from it. Barkley threw two interceptions and had no touchdown passes as USC fell, 21-14, to David Shaw's team, but the blame won't squarely lie on Barkley.
Running back Curtis McNeal called out his unit, telling the Los Angeles Times that the running game will need to both see more carries and produce more yardage to help out Barkley and receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.
"It will have to (improve)," McNeal said. "That's the only way we're going to win. We can't just depend on Barkley and Marqise and Woody all day to make plays.
"Other guys on the team have to step up."
The numbers from Saturday's loss tell the story. USC ran the ball 28 times and only mustered 26 yards, though take away Barkley's 42 yards in the opposite direction and the numbers look much less anemic. Still, the run game only saw 22 carries to Barkley's 41 passes.
Penn State transfer Silas Redd fumbled the ball once because of a recurring stinger injury, and he and McNeal struggled to do much against the Stanford defensive front. Aside from a 30-yard burst from McNeal, nothing was doing. They'll look to get the run game back in gear against the California Golden Bears.
The UCLA Bruins open Pac-12 play against the Oregon St. Beavers in Week 4 of the 2012 college football schedule. The USC Trojans will face the California Golden Bears.
The USC Trojans headed into practice Tuesday looking to bounce back from a disappointing 21-14 loss to the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday in Palo Alto, and head coach Lane Kiffin had some harsh criticism for his players, according to report from USC's Ripsit Blog.
Kiffin wasn't pleased with quarterback Matt Barkley's poor decision-making on Saturday, as the senior threw two interceptions in the loss, but he made those comments in the context of praising his quarterback, likening Barkley's performance to the Denver Broncos Peyton Manning throwing three interceptions in the first quarter on Monday Night Football.
Barkley understood the criticism and appreciated Kiffin's honesty.
"I made some poor decisions. He's going to be real. I'm glad he's not hiding me behind a curtain. I know what I did."
Kiffin was displeased with the efforts of the Trojans as a whole.
"We won't tolerate lack of great effort...not when you put on these jerseys that all these great players have worn before."
Saturday's loss dropped the Trojans to No. 13 in the AP Top 25 and put a bit of a damper on the team's BCS Championship hopes. They'll look to rebound in a Week 4 game against the Cal Bears (1-2) who are coming off a 35-28 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Kickoff for Saturday's game is slated for 3 p.m. PT at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
For more on USC football, join the discussion over at Conquest Chronicles. For more on the California Golden Bears, join the discussion over at California Golden Blogs.You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's college football hub.
"We're not happy with that performance," Kiffin said in his weekly Q&A.
But Kiffin also stressed that one loss was not the end of the season for the Trojans, who still have nine games left on their schedule to prove their worth.
"We have to make sure they understand the world's not over; it's one game. What we've got to do is learn from that and we've got to improve," Kiffin said. "There's millions of stories of teams losing early and having great seasons, and I expect us to do that."
The first game on the rest of the Trojans' schedule is back in Los Angeles, hosting the Cal Bears on Saturday afternoon. USC has beaten Cal eight straight times, including wins of 48-14 and 30-9 under Kiffin.
USC will have to deal with Bears junior wide receiver Keenan Allen, a multipurpose threat with 379 combined yards in three games. Allen has scored a touchdown via the air, on the ground, and on a punt return this season.
"He's hard to deal with," Kiffin said of Allen. He's big, he's physical, he's fast. He returns punts, too. He is one of the best in the country.
Allen caught 13 balls for 160 yards last season against the Trojans, but they were able to keep him out of the end zone. Doing so again on Saturday will go a long way in helping USC get back on track.
The USC Trojans had a difficult time running their offense -- especially in the second half -- against the Stanford Cardinal in Saturday night's 21-14 upset loss. The running game was completely shut down, and quarterback Matt Barkley was sacked five times.
Seeking to address that issue, coach Lane Kiffin opened a competition between two offensive linemen -- incumbent Aundrey Walker, a sophomore, and freshman Max Tuerk, who is No. 2 behind Walker on the Trojans' depth chart.
Kiffin had this to say Monday to open the week leading up to USC's game against California:
"The team was informed (Sunday) that Max Tuerk is getting reps with the ones. There will be competition (at left tackle) between Max and Aundrey Walker."
This is a pretty clear indication that failure to protect your quarterback means you could lose your spot. Walker is a 6'6, 300-pound 19-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio who played last season as a true freshman. Tuerk, 18, is a true freshman from Santa Margarita, Calif. He's 6'6 and 285 pounds, and can also play guard.
The USC Trojans have revealed their latest depth chart for this weekend's game against the California Golden Bears. You can infer as much meaning from it as you want, but you probably should infer nothing at all from it. There are certain discrepancies that just don't match up to how things actually are.
Khaled Holmes is still listed as the No. 1 center, which means he's either healed from the injury he sustained against Syracuse, or this is just a theoretical depth chart. Holmes did not play a single snap in USC's 21-14 loss to Stanford last week, and Matt Barkley got sacked five times as a result.
Andre Heidari is still considered the starting kicker, although he is probably out a few weeks after surgery.
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