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Jordan Cameron earns praise, suffers a concussion

9/13/2010

Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said Sunday that tight end Jordan Cameron suffered a concussion on the penultimate play of Saturday's game against Virginia, when the Cavaliers performed an onside kick with seconds remaining and Cameron jumped up in attempt to grab the kick.

Cameron didn't get it, but Kiffin commended him for a good game, saying that he played "extremely well" on special teams. Cameron also made two good grabs during the game, a four-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter and a key 12-yard catch on a crucial fourth down midway through the third quarter.

"Those were big-time plays," Kiffin said. "We'll continue to look to expand his role."

The touchdown catch was the first of Cameron's career. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder tripled his career catch output -- from one to three -- on the day.

Here are a few other highlights from Kiffin's 20-minute conference call with reporters Sunday:

  • Kiffin was pleased with Dillon Baxter's nine-carry, 49-yard performance against the Cavaliers. Baxter, a true freshman, was making his collegiate debut after a one-game suspension that prevented him from playing against Hawaii. He didn't break one of his signature long-distance runs Saturday, but he did have one run that went for 17 yards and added two receptions for eight yards. "He does give us a spark," Kiffin said. "I think you can see that he's got a burst and an ability to make people miss, so we will continue to hopefully expand his role."

  • Not much changed, from Kiffin's perspective, after a little bit less than 24 hours of time to cool off and reflect on the game. "After watching the film, pretty much a similar feeling to last night," he said. Kiffin called the Trojans' run game "very average" and said that quarterback Matt Barkley "wasn't as accurate as he was in the opener," spotlighting his overthrow of a wide-open Ronald Johnson on one play that would've almost certainly led to a touchdown. "That was uncharacteristic of him," Kiffin said. "He had been throwing the deep ball very well in practices and in the first game."

  • Left tackle Matt Kalil struggled in his first career start at the Coliseum. He drew a couple of penalties, was beat on the play on which Barkley ended up fumbling in the first quarter, and altogether looked a bit flustered for much of the game. "Yeah, it's strange," Kiffin said. "You think coming home -- as a tackle, especially -- you don't deal with crowd noise, you play better. But he did not. He had a very rough first quarter, especially. He settled down later, but his first quarter was very rough."