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USC Football Fall Notebook: Defense Prepping For Syracuse No-Huddle

Will Robinson |
September 5, 2012 | 4:07 p.m. PDT

Senior Sports Editor

McDonald and the defense will need to be on its A game traveling to the east coast (Shotgun Spratling/NT).
McDonald and the defense will need to be on its A game traveling to the east coast (Shotgun Spratling/NT).
Tomorrow, USC heads off to East Rutherford, N.J. to take on Syracuse. With just one more practice, the Trojans seek to improve their defense to prepare for the pass-heavy Syracuse and quarterback Ryan Nassib.


The Trojan defense was good against a lesser Hawaii squad but not great by any means. Safety and co-defensive captain T.J. McDonald knows his unit must respond to the criticism head coach Lane Kiffin expressed yesterday. “Defense came out and played a lot better than yesterday,” Kiffin stated. “We responded to it a little bit, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” McDonald added. As Kiffin did yesterday, McDonald also noted Nassib’s great game on Saturday in which he posted a nation-high 470 passing yards. “They’re great numbers. He’s a good quarterback; I can see it on film. Give credit where credit is due,” the redshirt senior said. You can see the rest of McDonald’s time with the media below.


Backup running back D.J. Morgan tweeted that he would have knee surgery would miss three-to-four weeks. Kiffin confirmed the reports but was unsure on whether it was the same knee that Morgan injured in high school.


Due to Syracuse’s fast-paced offense and high-scoring affair against Northwestern, Nassib passed 65 times on Saturday as part of the Orange’s 96 offensive snaps. The ‘Cuse no-huddle approach will be key in keeping USC defenders on the field, exhausting them. “Anytime you play no-huddle, the first [string] will be out there a lot. But that’s up to us. If we can get off the field on third down, then we won’t be out there as much,” Kiffin said. View Kiffin’s full meeting with the press below.


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