USC Morning Links: Tavai makes most of opportunity, Kessler reaches out to Kiffin and other links

Ex-Mira Costa star J.R. Tavai makes most of opportunity at USC
(Mike Waldner | Daily Breeze)

No Trojan played a bigger part in the Thursday night victory than defensive lineman J.R. Tavai.

A star at Mira Costa High, a young lineman with a keep-your-eye-on-him tag at USC, Tavai was lost in the shuffle in this, his junior season. It looked as if instead of John Robert his initials stood for Just Resting.

Then came the week that was, which included the absence of star rush linebacker Morgan Breslin, yet another unavailable-because-of-injury Trojan.

USC football: Cody Kessler reaches out to Lane Kiffin
(Gary Klein | Los Angeles Times)

USC quarterback Cody Kessler confirmed that he texted former coach Lane Kiffin the day after emotional postgame remarks in praise of interim coach Ed Orgeron were portrayed by some as a slam of Kiffin.

“I didn’t mean it that way at all,” Kessler said Tuesday after practice.

(Lauren Jones | Daily Trojan)

The rivalry between the Fighting Irish and the Trojans is touted as one of the longest and most highly-anticipated rivalries in college football. Last year, the Fighting Irish beat thethe Trojans at the Coliseum in a grueling 22-13 victory. Saturday will be a pivotal game for USC in its first road game under interim head coach Ed Orgeron.

The Trojans held fast-paced practices on Monday and Tuesday before a lighter practice on Wednesday preceding their travel day on Thursday. Once the Trojans arrive in South Bend, they’ll have another full practice on Friday before resting up for Saturday night’s showdown.

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Tags: Cody Kessler JR Tavai Links USC Trojans

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