Thursday marked the shortest practice of fall camp and there was no shortage of cheers when the horn blew three times.
It was the second straight day practicing in the afternoon under the hot sun, however the heat played no factor in head coach Lane Kiffin's decision to wrap it up well under the three hours the team has been going.
"It was really just with the scrimmage being tomorrow at 12:30 and already been out here for a walk-thru once today," said Kiffin. "We just felt like we don't want to wear them out too much so that we can get the best out of them tomorrow."
The Trojans will play in the Coliseum for the first time this season on Friday. Kiffin has yet to decide if they will tackle during the scrimmage.
Woods Back At It
For the first time in the four days of fall camp wide receiver Robert Woods was not limited in his participation.
Woods saw action in every drill during Thursday's workout, including 7 on 7 and full team action.
"That's the best he's looked since last year or so," said Kiffin. "It's good to see, push him a little more, put him where the balls are going so he'd have to make five or six plays in a row and he responded well."
Sanders Making an Impact
The defensive backs are playing the best ball Kiffin has ever seen and he's giving full credit to first year secondary coach Marvin Sanders.
"(He) has done a great job," Kiffin said. "This is the best, it doesn't have to do with anybody that was here before, this is the best I've seen our defensive backs play."
Kiffin described Sanders style as "in their face," saying he gets after his players, challenges them, and makes them play.
The unit has responded by registering interceptions everyday at camp, not to mention breaking up passes, stripping the ball, and deflections.
Stats Talk, Opinions Don't
UCLA head coach Jim Mora has yet to play a season in Los Angeles, but tension is already stirring.
As reported in the LA Times, Mora said Thursday on a the Roger Lodge radio show that he emphasizes how safe UCLA's campus is during recruiting, saying "We don't have murders a block from our campus."
Mora later issued an apology, stating he was unaware of the situation in the spring when two students were killed just off of the USC camps. He also said the comment was not directed toward USC, Cal State San Bernadino, or any other school.
Kiffin's responded by saying "I don't really think that's something to joke about."
As far as how often and if recruits ever ask Kiffin about the safety of USC, "it only comes up when opposing coaches bring it up," he said.
"We have stats to point and show the facts, not opinions, and we feel that the campus is very safe."
Center Khaled Holmes was back participating in drills Thursday after being sideline two straight days.
Left tackle Aundrey Walker remained out of drills, wearing a wrist guard on his right wrist after exiting practice early on Wednesday.
Despite saying Wednesday he'd the following day, receiver George Farmer did not participate in practice.