Lane Kiffin on Thursday's practice:
"I thought the guys practiced pretty physical today, especially in the run drills down there. I thought T.J. McDonald had a really good practice – really showed up after a good first week. I think he’s having a great second week."
Lane Kiffin on Tre Madden's second day at tailback:
"Really good again. Really good forward lean when he runs, really good feet. Obviously got a long ways to go but an exciting prospect to have there, giving us some size that we really want to have. So hopefully he can do it."
Lane Kiffin on what Tre Madden needs to work on:
"System and ball security. He has natural instincts and really good ball skills. It’ll be about learning the systems and the intricacies of the systems, knowing when guys give you advantages with certain defensive looks that he doesn’t know now. It just comes from experience. Then ball security with anybody who hasn’t been used to carrying the ball for a while."
Lane Kiffin on defensive tackle George Uko:
"He had a dominant practice off the film Tuesday. He’s doing a great job. … Very powerful, very quick. He’s a perfect 3-technique. He’s powerful, he’s quick, he’s explosive, he can run long, he can play the run, he can rush the passer. The sky’s the limit for him."
Lane Kiffin on linebacker Dion Bailey:
"Dion’s been limited with his hamstring. He’s kind of been on and off, done some stuff, then sat out, tweaked a little bit again. He did do some things early but it’s just really kind of bothering him. We just want to get him healthy."
Lane Kiffin on the high number of hamstring injuries:
"I don’t know what to attribute that to except for just not much depth at the skill spots where it’s happening. They’re taking a lot of reps. That’s the only thing I can guess."
Lane Kiffin on the play of Victor Blackwell:
"Vic has done some good things, made some good plays. We’ve still got a ways to go lining up and a lot of little things that go with it, but he has done some good things."
Lane Kiffin on the defense being ahead of the offense:
"I think the gap’s closing … Gosh, I just used that term. I’ve never used that. The gap closed. … It was very different at first. I think the defense is still a little bit ahead. It doesn’t help not having Robert and George out there, and Khaled. Those are three guys that we think will be very important to us."
USC defensive tackle George Uko was praised by Lane Kiffin on Thursday.