Practice Notes: Sept. 7

The Trojans practiced for the second time this week, as they prepare to open Pac-12 play Saturday against Utah.

  • Senior tailback Marc Tyler suited up again, but was limited in the work he received. Tyler joins Dillon Baxter, D.J. Morgan and Curtis McNeal in the tailback race. USC coach Lane Kiffin expects more than two to receive playing time Saturday.
  • Senior offensive lineman Martin Coleman took reps with the first team offense at left guard. The starting offensive line has not yet been determined.
  • An early emphasis was placed on special teams play. The punt recovery team worked on getting back and protecting the returner in the correct formation. Following that, the return squad also practiced reaching the punter to block punts.
  • Sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods was in the yellow no-contact jersey to rest a sore elbow. He is expected to sit out practice tomorrow and be fully available for Saturday’s contest. Woods wore the yellow jersey during last week’s practices as well.
  • Assistant coach Monte Kiffin took an early part of practice to work with defensive backs on zone coverage, particularly with the safeties coming over the top to help the outside cornerbacks. The Trojans’ secondary will go up against junior quarterback Jordan Wynn, who completed 15 of his 23 attempts against Montana State.Without a field goal opportunity in Week one, freshman kicker Andre Heidari and the kicking team practiced quick kicks from between 30 and 40 yards out, switching field position quickly. Heidari made every field goal he attempted.
  • When the first team offense and defense split up, the defense worked on blitz packages, both with man-to-man and zone coverage. Junior safety T.J. MacDonald picked off the scout team quarterback during the drill.
  • Junior quarterback Matt Barkley and the offense looked sharp in one-on-one drills, as he frequently found Woods and other receivers off screens and down the field. Of note, Barkley dropped the ball into double coverage to junior Brice Butler along the left sideline.
  • During the early first team offense and defense showdown, freshman quarterback Cody Kessler threw an interception to redshirt freshman defensive tackle George Uko, who was able to return the ball past the offensive line and Kessler.