Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
USC entered its third week of Fall Camp on Saturday, and save for more minor injuries, not much news came out of Troy at the end of practice.
Head Coach Lane Kiffin maintains that he is no closer to deciding a starter at quarterback than he was before Friday’s scrimmage, despite the fact that Cody Kessler had a much more compelling outing than did Max Wittek. Kiffin said Wittek’s numbers were “out of whack”, suggesting that because Wittek had so many three-and-outs against the first team defense, an accurate assessment of his talent could not be gathered. However, the fact that Wittek could not muster much against USC’s starting defense seems to be telling in and of itself.
The injuries keep on piling up for the Trojans–though still mostly minor and none to any players of immediate consequence–and a number of previously injured players are beginning to return. WR Victor Blackwell sat out of practice and was on crutches, while S Dion Bailey (hip) stood on the sideline without his. Bailey said he will “definitely” play in USC’s season opener against Hawaii, though he does not have a timetable on when he will return to practice. DL Antwaun Woods and S Leon McQuay III both left practice early with what looked to be leg injuries. DE Leonard Williams returned to full contact drills, and WR Marqise Lee again practiced in a yellow no-contact jersey.
Defensive lineman Charles Burks almost had a big play on the day, but it instead resulted in a face-palm moment. He picked off Wittek but couldn’t keep control and ultimately fumbled it. Displeased with the lack of ball security on both sides of the ball, Kiffin made all 22 guys do a lap for the double turnover. His defensive teammates gave him a bit of hell for having to run, to which Burks replied, “I ain’t never got a pick in my life.”
Of the scrimmage, Kiffin said the storyline of the day was the first team defense forcing five three-and-outs. He also lauded Craven’s performance, saying he made the most of the only 28 snaps that he received on the field.
USC holds two-a-days next on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 8:45 a.m and 6 p.m.