Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Tuerk challenging Walker at LT again
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- It happened after the USC's loss to Stanford, and it's happening again now, after the Trojans beat Washington.
Left tackle Aundrey Walker's starting job is being challenged.
The sophomore has been wildly inconsistent in his first season as the team's starter, with effort issues being part of the problem and technique too, according to head coach Lane Kiffin.
So, for the second time in a month, freshman Max Tuerk is getting a crack at Walker's first-team spot in practice. The two players split reps at the position Tuesday, and that should continue the rest of the week.
Last time they competed in practice, they rotated in for the first half of the Trojans' next game before Walker took back over in the second. If Tuerk doesn't overtake Walker this time, it's likely the two will at least share the position on Saturday against Colorado.
While Walker's effort wasn't an issue last week, according to Kiffin, he was whistled for several penalties against Washington. He also disappointed the coaching staff with lapses in technique.
"Aundrey has got to play better," Kiffin said after Tuesday's practice. "He leads our team in penalties."
False starts have been a serious issue for the 6-foot-6, 300-pound Walker, who did not speak with reporters Tuesday. He also had problems with snap reactions in the early part of fall camp but happily reported that he had solved his troubles later.
Tuerk has demonstrated a strong work ethic since arriving on campus in the summer, and his 6-6 frame is ideal for the left tackle spot down the road.
For now, he's considerably undersized, at about 270 pounds. He said Tuesday he was unsure of how many snaps he has played on the line this year but indicated he felt better prepared than a month ago.
"A little experience always helps," Tuerk said.