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Tuerk and Walker Splits Reps At LT

Lane Kiffin met with the media on Sunday after USC's practice:

Max Tuerk and Aundrey Walker are battling it out this week for the starting LT gig against Utah Thursday night.

Opening statement: “Wednesdays practice, I thought the defense practiced really well today. It was a little bit different format after having a day off, unusual, but it was good. I thought the defensive front came out really physical which was good to see. Every time you go on the road in a conference game, you’re going to need that.”

Aundrey Walker vs. Max Tuerk: “...We opened it up again this week, split reps right down the middle and we haven’t made a decision for the game yet.”

John White and the Utah running game: “It sounds like he’s going to be healthy first off. They’re breaking in some new offensive linemen, losing two tackles would affect anybody. Their just going through the growing pains of new guys in there and a running back not being healthy. I’m sure they’ll be ready for us and he’ll be healthy.”

On Utah coming off a loss: “It goes on or two ways. Sometimes teams go in the tank and sometimes it brings teams closer together when you don’t play a game where you’re excited about how you did. Like what happened to us. We had our best week of practice after a loss. I don’t think that matters anyway. I think there’s an SC factor when you go into someone else’s place. It’s going to be their biggest game of the year and their going to be up for it. At the Pac 12 media days, how many Salt Lake radio and T.V. stations were down here and it was the first thing they said, that it was the biggest game in history.”

If Thursday night amplifies that: “I think so. I think anytime there are no other games going, everyone’s going to watch you. It becomes more of a statement game for the team that’s considered to be the under dog.”

Impressions on WVU-Baylor: “Yeah I kinda saw the numbers as it was going on. I don’t know how you do that. It was just amazing. I was talking to Woody and Marqise and I said it’s hard to do that on in a game or versus a service team. To have five incompletions and those numbers are really amazing.”

Keeping guys in check on odd week: “Yeah, we’ve done our best to coach extremely hard and make sure that they’ve felt our intensity out here and I think our staff has done a good job of that.”

How do you get Robert going: “Throw him the ball more, early, would help. Teams have done a good job of taking him away. Even though his numbers aren’t as good as they have been before, teams are still game planning to these two receivers. Hopefully, for the passing game, defenses change. If not, games will go like they did last week.”

If anything’s wrong with Robert: “Anytime a guy never practices a full week, which he doesn’t, there’s always a day that we have to give him off. It’s usually a Wednesday or a Thursday, it depends on how he’s feeling. Missing the part of the game plan that’s done that day is going to affect you.”

On the F receiver spot: “Nelson has it right now. Hopefully, George Farmer will come back and get into that mix, but Nelson’s doing really well.”

On Utah’s Star: “Well I think he’s really improved. If you watch from last year to this year, he’s a different guy from last year. He’s really trimmed down, he’s stronger, quicker, and in better shape. He’ll take over games if you allow him too.”

If Utah secondary can be exploited: “I think Arizona State made some big plays in that game. Whether it was making people miss or catching a go route down the sidelines. The quarterback made some really good throws and they made really good plays versus man to man coverage, which we don’t very much off. So, we’ll see if they do that this week.”

On Six Pac 12 teams ranked and if it’s surprising: “I didn’t know that. No, I think as we’ve talked about it’s very competitive, you have some pretty dynamic coaches that have joined in and I think that’s the result of us not nailing recruiting the last five years. Players getting away in this conference and we have to be able to stop that. When we get back to being able to sign more that’l help as well.”

If he sees players on other teams that he wanted: “Sure. You’re always trying to evaluate how guys turn out and there was a guy on Saturday making plays that we had right here at our camp, but we didn’t take him because we didn’t have enough room for him.”

Does the center in this offense have more responsibilities than other offenses: “That’s a good question. I don’t know if he has more. We put a lot on him, but I don’t know if it’s more than what other people do. That position is so valuable for anybody but our guy’s so smart and does so many things that sometimes you forget about all the things that he does until he isn’t there and then you really notice it.”

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