Tuesday practice quick hits
September, 6, 2011
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
More notes and quotes from Tuesday's practice at USC:
- Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin announced that safeties graduate assistant Sammy Knight and assistant coach Monte Kiffin will officially be splitting the secondary coach duties for the rest of the season, just as they did last week after Willie Mack Garza resigned Thursday citing personal reasons. Knight, a former USC safety and NFL Pro-Bowler, is in his second season as a USC staffer but has never been a full-time coach. The elder Kiffin will help him out with different, unexpected situations, but it sounds like it'll mostly be Knight's job for the rest of the year. "We have a lot of confidence in Sammy," Lane Kiffin said. "He's been with us now two years and he's done a real good job. He's never really coached before as far as running a room, so my dad will help him with that and I think together they'll do well back there. I know the players like Sammy a lot."
- Practicing with the first team at left guard for much of practice was senior Martin Coleman, who could unseat Jeremy Galten if it turns out Abe Markowitz isn't ready to start Saturday against Utah. Coleman had an opportunity to win the starting job during camp but couldn't beat out Galten, but the coaches clearly weren't overly pleased with how the juco transfer's debut went. Of course, Kiffin has repeatedly referred to Markowitz as the starter, so when he does get back from his foot injury, it's safe to assume he'll be the No. 1 guy.
- Tallahassee, Fla. running back Javorious "Buck" Allen practiced for the first time with the Trojans on Tuesday after arriving on campus late last Thursday and then beginning classes Friday, just one week before the school-wide deadline to enroll. Allen was on the sidelines for Saturday's game against Minnesota but is considered a sure bet to redshirt.
- USC dropped out of the AP Top 25 poll released Tuesday as one of two teams to fall out of the rankings despite winning their opener. The other team? Reigning national champion Auburn, who started at No. 23 but struggled to beat Utah State at home, 42-38. The Trojans had started at No. 25 and fell to what equates to 28th, as the team with the third-most votes not in the Top 25. Pac-12 South rival Arizona State, who USC faces in less than three weeks in Tempe, has the most votes of any team not in the Top 25.
- The powder-blue and gold jerseys USC scout-team members wore during Thursday's practice were back Tuesday, but they weren't used. Instead they simply stayed out on the Howard Jones Field grass for the duration of the session and were picked up by the team managers following the end of practice.