With Spring ball finally completed here are some of the story lines to keep an eye on...
Quarterback Matt Barkley will have his right hand examined Tuesday, an athletic department official confirmed. Barkley hit his throwing hand on the helmet of defensive tackle Jurrell Caseyin the third quarter of Saturday's spring game, immediately after throwing his only touchdown pass of the day.
Barkley, who completed seven of 16 passes for 87 yards, sat out the rest of the game with an ice pack on his hand. He said he would have returned had it not been a spring game. Casey was tossed from the game after the play by first-year coach Lane Kiffin.
Barkley compared hitting what he said he was his knuckle on Casey's helmet to "throwing a hand full-force into a wall."
It's a fine line...you want guys to go full tilt but you also want them to save it for game day against the competition.
There are also two sides to every story...
Lane Kiffin obviously wasn’t thrilled that defensive tackle Jurrell Casey knocked down quarterback Matt Barkley on Saturday, a definite no-no in scrimmages and practices.
Kiffin summarily sent Casey to the locker room.
"That’s an example of what we’re trying to get rid of here," said Kiffin, who has pushed the theme of discipline since the day he took over as USC coach.
Of course, there’s a fine line between being overzealous and being aggressive. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron was seeking the latter from his charges. Casey just so happened to cross that line.
"It was kind of unnecessary," Orgeron said. "I told them in the second half to be a little bit more aggressive. I’ll take the whole blame for that."
It's a tough call to make...
Even if Barkley has a fracture he has plenty of time to get to full speed for fall ball.
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Speaking of the D line and Coach O...
This unit could be the best in the nation next year!
"I like our defense," Orgeron said. "We have a lot to get better at but we're night and day from the first practice."
Orgeron said his defensive line is potentially as good as any he coached at USC, but also singled out a linebacker as a key development.
"Moving Devon Kennard (from outside to middle linebacker) was a huge deal," Orgeron said. "We feel Kennard made enough progress to play the spot. But when we get in the games, we'll really find out."
That is an interesting statement in regards to Kennard having made enough progress to play MLB. Galippo would probably move to the strong side where he played for a stretch last week.
The secondary is still a work in progress.
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With the May recruiting period now underway Lane Kiffin has an interesting take on the new recruiting rules...
""I think it’s a ridiculous rule. Remember, we are accountable for the kid that we sign when they come in here. … But you don’t let us go out there in May to go to the school to find out about the kid, to ask the counselors about the kid, to ask the teachers about the kid.
"The argument is your assistant coaches can go, but they are not held as accountable as we are. It makes absolutely no sense to me."
Kiffin’s predecessor, Pete Carroll, felt the same way. Here’s what he said about the rule last year:
"I think that’s pretty weak. I don’t support it. I will never support it. If I knew how to do something about it, I would. I don’t understand it. I think it’s a bad decision.
"Head coaches get paid a lot of money to lead these programs. We should do all the work that we can do. We shouldn’t sit on our butts in the month of May when there’s 30 days to go out and work the program. I couldn’t be more opposed to that."
Like I said last week...Kiffin gets it. He is clearly attempting to to put more discipline in the program and his ability to really get to know the ins and outs of a player in the non-football sense is severely restricted with this stupid restriction/rule. He is right, in the end the head coach is ultimately responsible so he should be able to have the all the info on a player before offering that valuable USC scholarship.
I think a lot of people are going to be surprised in how Kiffin puts his stamp on the program!
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Some other links of interest...
Looks like everyone had a pretty good time at the game on Saturday...
The war of words continues!!