Saturday can’t come soon enough for Lane Kiffin and his USC players.
The Trojans completed their final practice of the week Thursday while looking forward to putting their ugly 10-7 loss to Washington State officially behind.
“As much as you practice, as much as you prepare, it’s still not like getting back out there for the game and getting over last week,” Kiffin said.
After practice, Kiffin joked during his weekly radio show that he told players he would run out of the Coliseum tunnel first Saturday so fans could boo him, allowing the team to run onto the field to cheers for the game against Boston College.
It was another attempt by Kiffin to humor fans who booed his play-calling and chanted for his firing last Saturday.
Several USC players said this week that they had moved on from the loss.
“I forgot about it already,” safety Dion Bailey said. “It was the second game of the year. We’ve got a lot more games to play.”
Kiffin reiterated Thursday that the Trojans played well against Washington State in most facets except the passing game.
“We didn’t lose 50 to nothing and have got 9 million problems we’ve got to figure out,” he said.
Cornerback Torin Harris probably will start for the second consecutive week after playing well against Washington State.
Harris extinguished a Washington State threat by intercepting a pass in the end zone. He finished with six tackles.
Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said Harris stepped up after playing inconsistently during spring practice and fall camp.
“That’s the best he’s played,” Pendergast said.
And the 6-foot, 190-pound Harris can be even better, Pendergast said.
“The intriguing thing about it is the skill set,” he said. “He’s not tapped out. He’s got a chance to be a really good corner.”
Defensive tackle George Uko has been an imposing presence, registering three of the Trojans’ nation-leading 11 sacks.
Uko, a fourth-year junior, had two sacks in the opener against Hawaii and one against Washington State.
“I feel like I’m playing OK,” Uko said. “There’s still a lot of plays that could be made. I still left plays on the field.”
Uko is part of a front that has given up a nation-low 15 yards rushing per game.
Neither Hawaii nor Washington State has a strong running game, so the challenge will be much greater against Boston College and running back Andre Williams.
Last week against Wake Forest, Williams rushed for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 114 yards in 23 carries against Villanova.
While quarterback Cody Kessler prepares for Boston College as the designated starter, backup Max Wittek has not displayed disappointment during practice, Kiffin said. “Obviously, you look for that to happen,” he said, “and he’s really done a really good job."…. The Trojan Marching Band will pay tribute to the late Jerry Buss during its halftime show Saturday. USC said the show would feature Buss’ favorite songs and appearances by the Laker Girls and members of the Buss family. Buss earned a master’s degree and then a PhD in physical chemistry from USC in 1957.