"As far as practice, once again we've gotten ourselves way ahead, which is good. Another physical, hard, full-pad practice and so now we can slow back on that and continue more mental focus, with what will be a ‘Thursday' practice tomorrow and a second-‘Thursday' after that. We'll need to get our legs back for this game against a very good opponent."
(On how Dion Bailey is playing)
--"I think Dion is playing extremely well. As you look at our team, I don't know if too many teams around the country that you look at your top-two leading tacklers are freshmen. And including Dion moving from safety and doing that, says a lot about him and his preparation. Joe Barry has done a great job getting him ready, because it's not an easy transition to make, especially in this complicated defense. It's great and it speaks volumes of our future there."
(On whether it's a positive that freshmen are the leading tacklers)
--"Yeah it's okay. It is where we are. The bright part about that is those guys hopefully will be here for three more years after this. Between those two guys starting as freshmen and Lamar [Dawson] is going to be a great player here and Anthony [Sarao] we're redshirting so he'll have four years. It's exciting. Really the position has completely changed from the day we walked on campus here."
(On Isiah Wiley)
--"He did [look good out here today]. He was actually the MVP of the day. Did some good things which was great to see. Maybe he's one of those stories of a guy that pops up during the bye week and takes on the challenge of wanting to play, and earn himself some playing time, hopefully."
(On Wiley using the bye week to catch up)
--"Yeah I think it did. He looks more confident. It's so hard of transitioning, of coming in without a spring, for anybody to come in and play right away and learn the system. So unfortunately he was here then he wasn't here and so that's a lot of time he would have had so now he's just catching up."
(On California's receiving core)
--"Yeah huge challenge. Starting with Keenan [Allen], he makes every play. He's fast, he's big, he's strong, possession receiver and deep receiver. He's a great player so unfortunately for us we're going to have another guy we have to really focus on. This duo, on the Oregon telecast they called them the duo receiver in the conference so we're going to have our hands full."
(On whether Kiffin agrees that California has the best receiving duo)
--"I don't know. You got to prove it. If we want to be the best duo we got to show up this Thursday and prove it."
(On how beneficial it is that USC can watch Cal play and Notre Dame play, the Trojans' next two opponents)
--"Not that much really because the film. The TV-copies don't really do anything for our guys. So we get the game film immediately no matter who we're playing nowadays so it doesn't really help that much."
(On what is the predominant factor in choosing why to redshirt a player)
--"The team first. We want to do what's in the best interest for the team. That's why we're all here as coaches and players, to win and put the best product on the field. But we always have to take everything into account and that's discussing things with families at times at too as well, so that everybody is on the same page."
(On whether Kiffin would ever play a kid if the family says they want him to redshirt)
--"Oh I don't know I mean you just got to manage the relationship. If you point out all the reasons why, usually that's not an issue. Usually they know that you have a reason for doing what you're doing. And we lay it out. This is why, whichever way we're going, to redshirt or not redshirt. So usually they're very good."
(On what Al Davis did for Kiffin)
--"Yeah he gave us a great opportunity. Very appreciative of that and as you mentioned, it didn't end great, like a lot of head coaches there. He's done so many things, it was good to hear they won today, too. The last 24 hours have been so hard on Raider Nation to go on the road and get a big win right at the end and somebody said Michael Huff made the last play. I kind of mentioned that yesterday [Al] was so loyal to his players. And obviously that caused some issues sometimes with the coaches, but he was. Michael is another example. A lot of people called him a bust and was a first-round pick and [Al] kept hanging with those guys. He brought so many guys out of retirement because he was so loyal to those and other employees around the office."
(On whether Kiffin thinks the schedule is tougher now)
--"Yeah I think so. Just with what's coming. With two teams that are top-10 teams, a Notre Dame team that I think very easily could be in the top-10 if a couple games go different right at the end for them. They're extremely talented and really good and Cal is always a tough team, especially when you go to their place. So yeah our schedule gets a lot tougher here."
(On whether guys are more prepared after their first road test and loss)
--"I do and that usually is the case as guys get through that. And we've talked about that game before. There's some very critical plays right there, that if we make, that game is completely different. And we had every chance to win that game. We're down there, ready to take the lead after coming back in the third quarter, ball is on 14-yard line and we have back-to-back plays where we screw up. Otherwise I think the game is very different so we got those out of our system, hopefully. And now we're used to that and used to going into a foreign environment and hopefully we'll play better."
(On whether the quarterback position is the toughest position to evaluate)
--"Yeah I think it is. I think that position you really need to know the kids, know who they really are, not just the film. That's so hard to do [because] the rules limit us so much, nowadays, especially as a head coach. There's times where we got to make decisions on players in general, at all positions, especially quarterbacks, we got to make decisions having never met a guy whether we give him a full scholarship. And then you're held accountable for their actions when they're here. I think there's a big flaw in the system. [The NCAA] doesn't allow coaches to go on the road in spring, so they can't go see kids, they can't go study the kid around school, what do people say about him, it makes it very difficult, especially with that position because there's a lot of really talented guys that don't play very well at that position because of all the things that go with it."
(On why USC continues to recruit such great quarterbacks)
--"We've obviously been very fortunate. I can't imagine there's a better run of quarterbacks over a 10-year window at any school, probably in the history of college football, if you really look at it. To have those guys and the numbers they put up and where they got drafted and two Heismans in there, is really phenomenal. But I think we do, at USC, one of the reasons it's one of the best jobs in the world, we do get so many Southern California quarterbacks that we do get to know because they're in our camps when they're younger and we get to know [because of] so many coaches around here, we get to know who they are and that helps us in the evaluation process."
(On what has enabled Woods to have early success)
--"I think two reasons. Number one his family. A lot of times kids come in and you can kind of see how they were raised by the way that they work and how they react to adversity. So number one his family and number two his coaching at Serra High School. Even though it's a UCLA guy. They do such a good job there, especially at that [receiver] position but just in general of coaching their guys so they come in here and they're ready to go. And he's an example of having both those things."
(On how much Kiffin takes of Cal's defense after watching the Oregon game)
--"Yeah it doesn't mean a whole lot to us it's such an abnormal system that Oregon runs on offense. A lot of times we don't really even use that film because when people play Oregon they play a completely different defense because it doesn't resemble anything having to do with a pro-style system so we don't really take very much of that [into account]. On the other side of the ball, you can a little bit. But it doesn't do that much [on defense], especially on our side."