USC: Jurrell Casey

Giving them a glimpse

November, 14, 2011
11/14/11
6:40
PM PT
There are a couple different ways you can look at USC's upcoming game against Oregon on Saturday.

One way is as a perfect example of a team playing with little to lose (USC) against a team with plenty to lose (Oregon). But the second is as two teams matching up with plenty to prove to observers, one in much better position (Oregon) than the other (USC).

Either way, this much is clear: Both teams have things on the line. They're just different things, as the Ducks will risk an almost-sure BCS bowl berth and potential national championship game contention, while the Trojans will risk potential double-digit wins and the chance to finish the season in the top 10 nationally.

But look at it this way: Since the NCAA sanctions were laid down at USC in June 2010, the school's goal has essentially been to get through the next two college football seasons without much collateral damage, and maybe -- hopefully -- develop its talent in the process. If the Trojans could emerge from December 2011 without a serious loss of talent or national respect, the next few years of the scholarship-limited sanctions wouldn't be so bad.

That was the thought.

Now, USC has the opportunity to turn that common, much-espoused thought entirely on its head. By beating Oregon, the Trojans would essentially have proven that the final year of the Pete Carroll era and the first year of Lane Kiffin's tenure were flukes, and will also have injected the third and fourth and fifth years of Kiffin's time to come with a ton of promise.

By beating Oregon, USC would have sent a clear message to the NCAA, to the Pac-12 and to a number of outside observers that it is here to stay -- and, as Kiffin loves to say, will have moved all the dark clouds covering the program away for good.

"At the end of the year, we want people to wonder, 'What if USC could have been in a bowl game? What would happen?' " USC defensive end Devon Kennard said after the Trojans' 40-17 win over Washington on Saturday. "That's where we want to leave everybody."

Kennard is a junior. He was coming off his freshman season when the sanctions were announced and thus didn't have the opportunity to transfer away without penalty like many others could and some did.

But he has always maintained, like quarterback Matt Barkley and many more young players also did at that time, that USC would still be able to keep up a similar level of dominance without going to a bowl game. They all said it, in one way or another.

But now it sounds a bit more real.

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D-line 'nowhere near' where it needs to be

April, 5, 2011
4/05/11
1:42
PM PT
Armond Armstead is missing all of spring practice after being hospitalized in March with chest pain. Wes Horton and Christian Tupou both missed the first half of spring practice and could miss more before they're fully healthy.

That means three of the top four USC defensive linemen have been out of commission this spring, and that means that USC defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is displeased with his line's play thus far.

"We've gotta get better," Orgeron said Tuesday. "We gotta get better on our pass rush. We can't have guys running the football on us. We've gotta dominate -- that's USC football and that's it."

The line was a disappointment last fall too, when Orgeron and head coach Lane Kiffin expected it to be the Trojans' most dominant unit and it was instead only average, departed junior tackle Jurrell Casey making impacts in most games but most other players flashing big-play ability only at times. There were games when the linemen were dominant, like the Cal and UCLA victories. There were also games when the linemen were dominated by their offensive line counterparts, like the Oregon and Oregon State losses.

Orgeron expects that to be different this year. He expects his linemen to be consistent difference-makers.

"They better be," he said. "They're gonna be. We understand the effort, the commitment now. It's not all new now -- we've simplified the things on defense to where there shouldn't be as much thinking and they should play faster. That should help us."

"We've gotta dominate."

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Pro Day tidbits plus some video

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
9:49
PM PT


As our coverage of Pro Day continues, we've already went over Tyron Smith and Jurrell Casey's workouts on USC's campus on Wednesday and Mitch Mustain's rebound from his February arrest.

Other things of note from the festivities: 31 of the 32 NFL teams were represented, including three general managers and two head coaches, Oakland's Hue Jackson and Dallas' Jason Garrett. Former Trojans who aren't exiting college this year weren't allowed to participate because of the NFL lockout, putting guys like Keary Colbert out of commission, but former USC receiver Travon Patterson did return to campus after transferring to Colorado last summer. Discus thrower Aaron Dan, a graduating member of the Trojan track and field team, also participated.

And two last tidbits: most USC assistants were there for at least part of the day, but head coach Lane Kiffin was nowhere to be found. The 40-yard dash and bench-press leaders on the day were both players with very small chances to be drafted, receiver David Ausberry (4.46 40) and offensive guard Zack Heberer (38 reps of 225 pounds).

Now here's the key info on the other former Trojans who participated Wednesday who have legitimate shots to be drafted, player-by-player in alphabetical order:

- Running back Allen Bradford

Bradford was timed as fast as 4.54 seconds on some stopwatches but the general consensus had him somewhere in the 4.6 range, not a positive development for the back, who needed a better time to convince NFL teams of his viability as a feature back. He did prove himself, though, as a capable pass-catcher in drills with Mustain and seemed to be proud of that afterward.

"I think that was kinda my downside -- a lot of people didn't think I could catch the ball out of the backfield because I didn't get it thrown to me, but I didn't drop the ball and I finished well on my runs," he said Wednesday.

- Tight end Jordan Cameron

Cameron looked very good, if not great, in position drills, catching most everything thrown his way by Mustain. He chose not to participate in the 40-yard dash or the bench press because of his positive numbers in the combine in those.

We'll have more on Cameron tomorrow.

- Receiver Ronald Johnson

Johnson's 40 time wasn't great -- only 4.49 -- but he was solid in position drills and looked very agile in shuttle and three-cone drills.

"I didn't feel good about it, but it is what it is and I can't do it over," he said of the 40 time. "They can see my speed out on the field in my routes and in my breaks, so that should make up for the 40 I ran."

We'll have more on Johnson's performance tomorrow.

- Offensive guard Butch Lewis

Lewis did 31 repetitions of 225 pounds and was timed in the 40 as fast as 5.09 seconds, but he didn't look too crisp in offensive line drills.

- Linebacker Michael Morgan

Morgan didn't look good in position drills or shuttle drills, but he did run a solid 40-time in the low 4.4's, ranging from 4.47-4.49. He tripped up on the three-cone drill.

- Center Kristofer O'Dowd

O'Dowd has been perhaps the most surprising workout warrior of the former Trojans, a guy who many expected to be more of a gamer type who would struggle in workouts. He looked good at the NFL Combine last month and he looked good again Wednesday in the limited drills he did do -- specifically offensive line-specific blocking drills.

"Coming into the combine, I had the focus and drive to show who I am, to show what school I’m from and to show who we are as offensive linemen," O'Dowd said. "I’m very happy. I exceeded what my goals were at the combine. So I wanted to come out here, do a little workout and kind of show in my last interview who Kris O’Dowd is."

- Linebacker Malcolm Smith

Smith may have helped himself the most of anybody Wednesday, beating the speedster Johnson with a 40-yard dash timed as fast as 4.45 seconds and also pushing out 28 repetitions in the bench press. His other numbers were reported at 39 inches in the vertical jump and 10 feet, 5 inches in the broad jump, solid figures both.

He tripped up in the shuttle drill but rebounded to finish strong.

- Cornerback Shareece Wright

Wright pulled up during defensive back drills near the end of the workout and didn't get up for a while, but the school announced his injury wasn't believed to be more serious than a pulled hamstring.

He didn't run a 40 after running it in 4.46 seconds at the combine.

USC's top prospects talk pro day

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
5:30
PM PT


USC has two players who could go in the first round of next month's 2011 NFL draft: offensive tackle Tyron Smith (above) and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (below).

Smith is a sure bet to go in the first round, a likely top 20 selection and a possible top 10 pick, even. Casey has an outside shot to be among the first 32 picks, with an early-to-mid second-round spot a more likely destination for him.

Both players worked out at Wednesday's pro day on the USC campus in front of NFL scouts, coaches and general managers.

Smith finished with an impressive 31 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and ran two 40-yard dashes timed as fast as 4.93. Casey ran a 5.04 40-yard dash on both attempts despite pulling his hamstring near the end of his second run.

NFL Combine recap

March, 3, 2011
3/03/11
5:29
PM PT
The annual athletic workout headquarters that is the NFL Combine finished Tuesday in Indianapolis. Here's a recap of what the eight former Trojans participating in the festivities did over the five days of competition:

Allen Bradford, RB, 5-11, 242 pounds

Bradford weighed in at a fairly remarkable 242 pounds, which made him the 4th-heaviest running back out of 39 participants at the position, and the three guys in front of him -- Georgia's Shaun Chapas, Pittsburgh's Henry Hynoski and Stanford's Owen Marecic -- were all college fullbacks. His 40-yard dash time of 4.58 wasn't spectacular, but it was a respectable 15th out of the 39 prospects. His 28 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds were third-best among all offensive players at the combine, and reports had him looking better than expected in the passing drills.

What'll he probably try to do is lower his 40-time a few hundredths of a second for USC's Pro Day later this month. If he can't do that, he runs the risk of being pigeonholed into the fullback spot at the next level.

Jordan Cameron, TE, 6-5, 254 pounds

There were high expectations for Cameron in some circles, but the converted receiver came out and exceeded them over the weekend in Indy. He ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash time of any tight end (4.59) and recorded the second-highest vertical jump (37.5 inches) too. He won the 3-cone drill and also finished in the top five in the bench press and the broad jump and reportedly caught nearly everything thrown his way in pass-catching drills.

Cameron could have just played his way into a mid-round selection. At the very least, he'll be listed as a top sleeper pick on a ton of internet mock drafts over the next couple months.

Jurrell Casey, DT, 6-1, 300 pounds

Casey's 40 times had a wide variance, running as fast as 4.93 and as slow as 5.17. His overall time of 5.06 wasn't good enough to put him in the Top 15 in that category among defensive linemen, and none of his drill times were even close, either. For that, Casey probably goes down as someone who hurt himself a tad at the combine, although he wasn't really expected to wow anybody in the weight room to begin with. His stock is on the low end now, though, with most mock drafts sticking him around the second or third round.

Stanley Havili, FB, 6-0, 227 pounds

Havili did not work out at the combine, for reasons that are not currently clear. He did undergo shoulder surgery shortly after the end of the 2010 season and was sporting a sling on it in January, so he could be waiting until Pro Day to work out for NFL scouts. He did weigh in at 227 pounds, slightly more than the weight he played at while at USC but probably not enough to ease teams' doubts that he's too small to play fullback in the NFL.

Ronald Johnson, WR, 5-11, 199 pounds

Johnson finished with an official 40-time of 4.46, which tied for ninth-best among all receivers at the combine. He didn't participate in most of the other drills, but he did bench a respectable 16 repetitions. Johnson probably helped himself some with his measurements, though, as some scouts probably expected him to measure in smaller and lighter than those numbers.

He played at 185 in college, so the weight increase represents a significant improvement.

Kristofer O'Dowd, C, 6-4, 304 pounds

O’Dowd, a four-year starter who some scouts think has already reached his peak, finished tied for first among offensive linemen in the vertical jump (32.5) and tied for seventh in the 20-yard shuttle (4.59). He also ranked fifth in the bench press (31) and seventh in the 40-yard dash (5.16) and also finished in the top 10 in the broad jump.

So, yes, O'Dowd clearly helped himself.

Tyron Smith, RT, 6-5, 307 pounds

Smith didn't do anything besides the bench press -- and weigh in. But those two activities were plenty enough to create some buzz around him for Pro Day, as Smith weighed in at a hefty 307 pounds, 22 more than his listed playing weight during the 2010 season. He also did 29 bench-press reps.

Shareece Wright, CB, 5-11, 185 pounds

Wright ran a solid 4.46 40-yard dash time, which tied for seventh-best among cornerbacks, and recorded a 34.5 inch vertical jump and 9'5" broad jump. Reports had him looking polished during defensive back drills, which is a good sign for Wright, as one major criticism of him during his senior season was that he simply wasn't enough of a ballhawk for the next level.

USC's Pro Day is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on March 30, four weeks from today. A number of Trojans who didn't get combine invites are expected to work out for NFL scouts at USC's pro day, including linebackers Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan, quarterback Mitch Mustain, running back C.J. Gable and receiver David Ausberry. Kicker Joe Houston, punter Jacob Harfman and offensive guards Butch Lewis and Zach Heberer are also possibilities.

NFL combine preview

February, 23, 2011
2/23/11
5:12
PM PT
The NFL combine begins Thursday in Indianapolis. Eight USC prospects have earned invites to the festivities and will attempt to showcase their talents to the bevy of coaches and scouts in attendance.



Let's take a look at each prospect, with an eye on draft position and potential workouts where they could excel during this next week. They're sorted in alphabetical order, with listed height and weights from their USC biographies. Keep in mind that these measurements will probably be heavily adjusted in the next week after players are officially measured by the NFL:

Allen Bradford, RB, 6-0, 235 pounds

Bradford has the body type NFL teams like to see in a big, bruising runner, but his speed is questionable at best. His goal in Indianapolis, then, is simple: run a 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds or faster to show scouts and coaches he can be more than just an occasional ball carrier.

Another necessary task to prove that: perform well in catching drills. Bradford caught only eight passes in four years at USC and has serious questions attached to his pass-play skills.

Jordan Cameron, TE, 6-5, 245 pounds

Cameron screams workout warrior in every sense of the phrase. He never produced much of anything while at USC -- he totaled 16 catches for 126 yards and 1 TD in two seasons, plus a redshirt year -- but always possessed the potential to start, the potential to be a great pass-catching weapon.

He still has that potential. Teams know he's quicker, more agile and in possession of better hands than the average tight end prospect. Where he needs to prove himself is in blocking, so he'll need to let loose on the weights and display that he has all of the necessary footwork down pat.

Jurrell Casey, DT, 6-1, 300 pounds

Casey has been criticized by scouts recently for not having an ideal body type. He's short and squatty, they say, and not a premiere athlete.

What's wrong with that? Casey is, regardless of natural athletic ability, one of the best run-stopping tackles in this draft, without a doubt. He won't be a 10-sack guy at the next level, but he's quick and smart enough to warrant selection as an early second-rounder. To do that, he's got to make a team fall in love with his motor and line-specific skills, so the defensive line drills will be big for him this week.

Showing up with a more chiseled upper body wouldn't hurt, either.

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Every day until Friday, we’ll tackle one key question facing the USC football team in 2011 and attempt to answer it logically. Feel free to leave your potential answer in the comments section each day.

Wednesday's question involved the sanctions' likely effect on 2011 recruiting class. Today, we present the fourth of our five questions: Who will replace the two departed players for the NFL at DT and RT? Will they be able to approach Jurrell Casey and Tyron Smith's effectiveness?

[+] EnlargeJurrell Casey
Ric Tapia/Icon SMIJurrell Casey is entering the NFL Draft, but the Trojans might not lose too much.

USC had two players named to the All-Pac-10 First Team -- defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and right tackle Tyron Smith.

How fitting it is, then, that the two are the Trojans' only two players to choose to depart school early and enter the 2011 NFL Draft. But such is life when you're dealing with talented junior players, and, although both players had said they were 50-50 on their decisions after the season finale, it's certainly not a head-scratcher to see both of them decide to go.

Now, the question is this: How do you replace your two best players who you hadn't counted on losing?

There's no easy answer, and, especially in Smith's case, there may be no answer for a long while. But finding reasonable solutions at both positions, sooner rather than later, is key to USC's 2011 success.

First, Casey.

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Every day until Friday, we’ll tackle one key question facing the USC football team in 2011 and attempt to answer it logically. Feel free to leave your potential answer in the comments section each day.

Monday's question involved the possibility of a spread offense. Today, we present the second of our five questions: Will Monte Kiffin stay on staff as the assistant head coach and de facto defensive coordinator? Will his defense improve in 2011?

Let's clear up some confusion: No, Monte Kiffin was not the USC defensive coordinator in 2010.

That was Ed Orgeron. But who actually, physically coordinated the defense?

[+] EnlargeMonte Kiffin
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireAfter closer examination, the Trojans defense improved under Monte Kiffin. Will it get better next season?
Kiffin, of course. He had been the defensive coordinator at his three previous stops that spanned 15 years and had done remarkably well at each. Orgeron was busy enough tending to his duties as recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach -- plus dealing with a broken foot -- to do any defensive play calling.

Now that we've got that out of the way, who is going to coordinate the defense in 2011?

Monte Kiffin, surely. Internet speculation about his job security is far-fetched in nature, and it's very hard to imagine USC head coach Lane Kiffin relieving his dad of his duties on defense, especially after only one season.

Truth be told, toward the end of the 2010 season Kiffin's defense actually started to look pretty good. The Notre Dame and Oregon State losses looked bad on the surface (read: the score), but the blame for each goes almost entirely on the USC offense. And, in the season finale, UCLA really did next to nothing offensively.

You could make a great case that Kiffin's defensive players finally began to catch on to his changes from Pete Carroll's schemes. Is Kiffin's Tampa-Two-plus-some-other-stuff defense well-suited for the college level? Probably not, but neither was Carroll's. We'll have to set that part of the problem aside for the time being.

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Tyron Smith earns award from peers

December, 20, 2010
12/20/10
9:00
PM PT
Outgoing USC right tackle Tyron Smith was named the offensive winner of the peer-voted Morris Trophy, the Pac-10 announced Monday.

Smith, a Moreno Valley native, also earned All-Pac-10 First Team honors earlier this month after a junior season in which he started 12 of 13 games. He will bypass his senior season at USC and enter the 2011 NFL Draft early, it was announced last week.

Smith becomes the Trojans' second consecutive Morris award-winner. Left tackle Charles Brown won the award last year before being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

The 40 starting Pac-10 defensive linemen voted on the award. Oregon State senior defensive tackle Stephen Paea won the defensive version of the award, voted on by Smith and the rest of the Pac-10 offensive linemen.

Smith and Paea will be presented their awards at a Seattle luncheon next month.

Football: Jurrell Casey named USC's MVP

December, 12, 2010
12/12/10
9:29
PM PT
Junior defensive tackle Jurrell Casey was named USC's Most Valuable Player at the team's annual banquet Sunday at the Galen Center.

Casey, a two-year starter for the Trojans who also earned All-Pac-10 First Team honors this season, led the team in sacks and tackles for a loss. He also won the defensive version of the Lineman of the Year award for the second consecutive season. The offensive linemen winner was junior Tyron Smith.

Both Smith and Casey are currently in the process of deciding whether or not to return to USC for their senior seasons or enter early into the 2011 NFL Draft.

Other Sunday winners included senior fullback Stanley Havili as Most Inspirational Player, linebacker Chris Galippo as Special Teams Player of the Year and freshmen D.J. Morgan and George Uko as Service Team Players of the Year.

The rest of the list of award-winners, as announced at the banquet:

Player of the Game versus UCLA: running back Allen Bradford

Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award (year’s longest run): Bradford
Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (overall academic achievement): linebacker Augusto Alonso

Bob Chandler Award (underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character): wide receiver Robert Woods

John McKay Award (underclassman with the most competitive spirit): Woods
Joe Collins Walk-on Award: safety Tony Burnett

Courage Award: defensive tackle Christian Tupou

Co-Lifters Award: Tupou, Havili

Friday night video extras: Nickell Robey, Jurrell Casey review season

December, 4, 2010
12/04/10
7:31
AM PT
With two videos that didn't make it into this week's regularly scheduled blogging, we present Friday night video extras -- two video interviews from the past week that are worth your time.

Freshman cornerback Nickell Robey had a lot to say when asked about his teammate and mentor, Shareece Wright, playing his final game in a USC uniform against UCLA on Saturday.

In a one-on-one video interview taken after Thursday's practice, Robey also references his height -- 5-foot-8 -- when asked to assess his freshman year, and he interestingly notes that he didn't expect to play the whole season because he thought his body would break down at some point.

Well, it didn't. Robey started every one of USC's first 12 games and stands to start once again this Saturday. See all of what he had to say:



It's the big question mark for the Trojans.

Will Jurrell Casey stay or go?

The junior defensive tackle, who has been USC's best player week in and week out this season, is eligible for the April 2011 draft and stands a solid chance of being selected in the first round.

That would make for a significant payday and also make Casey's decision whether or not to return to school for his senior season pretty difficult. The Long Beach Poly product talked about that after Thursday's practice in this video interview.

He also humorously explains his unabashed hatred for UCLA:

2010 USC: The Season

November, 30, 2010
11/30/10
8:00
AM PT
This season has been a series of new experiences for this USC football team.

No matter what happens Saturday, the Trojans will finish their worst season in nine years. They already lost to one rival, Notre Dame, for the first time since 2001. A loss to their crosstown rival would make 2010 seem like a return to the Paul Hackett years, a bog of mediocrity.


People expected the program to suffer under NCAA sanctions -- that’s kind of the point -- but a 7-6 season, with three straight losses at the end, would be worse than most fans had feared.

Just a couple of weeks ago, after a win at No. 18 Arizona, things appeared to be building toward a strong finish that would carry over to 2011.

“I was 100 percent confident that we were going to be 10-3 at the end of the season and we’d hit the road and sign a great recruiting class,” coach Lane Kiffin said.

Then the Trojans went to one of their least-favorite places, Oregon State, and got snowballed in a 29-point loss. The following week, they lost an emotionally wrenching game to the Fighting Irish. Now, this coaching staff is worried that those losses will carry over and that a sloppy finish to this season could spill into the players’ psyches going into next year.

The only way to stop that talk is to beat UCLA. That seemed a lot more likely two weeks ago.

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Thursday practice report: Breakdown

November, 25, 2010
11/25/10
4:31
PM PT
Notes, quotes and video from Thursday's practice:
  • Coach Lane Kiffin was again happy with his team's performance in a shorter morning session Thursday -- "another good day, three in a row," he said. He mentioned to his players, he said, how much USC fans care about the rivalry with Notre Dame and the importance in extending what is now an eight-game winning streak against the Irish. He reminded them of "all the hard work those players did before, over these last eight years in the offseason and everything to keep this streak alive, and now it's their turn."
  • Matt Barkley took another step in his recovery from the sprained left ankle he suffered last week against Oregon State on Thursday, taking some snaps and making throws, Kiffin said, but backup Mitch Mustain continues to prepare as the starter. Said Mustain, who said he has not yet been told "explicitly" that he'll be the starter against the Irish: "There's always that wish for a little bit more time to practice, but that's just the progression of it. I'm ready to go now." Barkley, who wore a jersey top and sweatpants at practice, said he plans to suit up Saturday.

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Wednesday practice report: Breakdown

November, 17, 2010
11/17/10
10:58
PM PT
Notes, quotes and video from Wednesday's practice:
  • Trojans coach Lane Kiffin criticized his team after what he said was a lackluster session Wednesday, saying that a lack of intensity has been present in both practices preparing for Oregon State this week. Added Kiffin: "I don’t know whether it’s feeling good about themselves after a couple of wins, and they don't remember why we’ve played well lately is because we’ve practiced extremely well. Very disappointing, but there’s still enough time for us to get right and get ready to go up there.” Kiffin did say the usual leaders -- among them junior defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and fullback Stanley Havili -- continued to practice well, but the team as a whole didn't, he said. "Right now, our practicing isn't on par with where it should be," senior center Kristofer O'Dowd said. "The good thing is we have a couple days to narrow in on what we need to do and focus on that."
  • Injury report: cornerback T.J. Bryant (left shoulder) and Torin Harris, strong safety Jawanza Starling (hamstring), tight end Blake Ayles (concussion), receiver Brice Butler and center Abe Markowitz (foot) did not practice; defensive tackle Hebron 'Loni' Fangupo (ankle) was limited. Starling could return later this week, Kiffin said; Ayles said after the Arizona game that he'd be back by now from a head injury but is obviously still out. Bryant visited with team doctors Wednesday and underwent an MRI but did not yet know results after Wednesday's practice. He said he would know more Thursday: "I might have to have another surgery; I might not. We'll see when I go get the results." Bryant couldn't clarify exactly what the injury was or what surgery would do to it, but he said it involved his labrum, it had happened in high school and it has continued to bother him while he has been at USC. "I re-injure it every year, every time we practice," he said. "It consistently gets injured."

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USC-Arizona grades

November, 13, 2010
11/13/10
8:47
PM PT
BPASSING ATTACK

A much better day for Matt Barkley, who in large part looked very calm and collected under center. His completion percentage was solid, and his only interception wasn't his fault at all -- a pass delivered dead-on that glanced directly off the body of Jordan Cameron.

ARUSHING ATTACK

Marc Tyler's second consecutive 100-yard game was indicative of the Trojans' reliance on the run game when big yards were needed. Tyler's success made it unnecessary for Lane Kiffin to get the other backs into the mix.

BIN THE TRENCHES

An 'A' for the offensive line and a C for the defense. Barkley wasn't sacked all game long and Tyler saw plenty of holes. Jurrell Casey and the D-line did come up with two sacks, but Foles wasn't typically under pressure when he dropped back.

BDEFENSE

This grade's on a slight curve after what the Trojans have done defensively so far this year, but Saturday's performance was actually one of their better ones, all things considered. Arizona's run game was run into the ground by the USC defenders.

BSPECIAL TEAMS

John Baxter's squad made no real mistakes, converted its only field-goal attempt and forced a miss on the Wildcats' only attempt. But there were no special plays, and returners Robert Woods and Ronald Johnson failed to break anything big -- albeit in limited opportunities.

ACOACHING

Kiffin coached probably his best game of the season against the Wildcats, coming out with a well-oiled gameplan and allowing his team to execute it well. Play-calling was on point, and there were no truly questionable decisions from Kiffin or his staff.

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