- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
• Lane Kiffin continues to refer to Stanford as “probably the best team in the country.” After Wednesday’s practice he said, “It’s going to be a big challenge for us. Somehow they’ve found a way to play even better than they were playing last year.”
• Kiffin spoke about the Cardinal tight end rotation and how it can present a lot of problems with matchups, as well as the constant goal line look. Kiffin said they are maybe the only team in the country that can come out facing first and 10 on their own 20-yard line in a goal line formation.
• Despite losing middle linebacker Shane Skov, the Stanford defense has continued to play well, and Kiffin chalked that up to their overall mentality as a team. He said he hopes USC’s mentality is similar Saturday. “We’ve played that way the last couple of weeks, but this will be a big test for us.”
• Kiffin praised the play of Rhett Ellison, saying that he has made “a ton of plays that nobody knows about.” Kiffin said the timing with quarterback Matt Barkley might be thrown off because of the number of different positions Ellison has played this season.
• On the injury front, Torin Harris and George Farmer were both out Wednesday. Kiffin said Harris has a nerve issue with his shoulder and that there is nothing they can do to help it. The issue will either clear up or linger. Wide receiver Robert Woods and kicker Andre Heidari were limited Wednesday.
• The defense registered a couple of interceptions, as Tre Madden made a nice play on a Barkley throw, stealing it away from Woods, and Drew McAllister came up with a pick when a Cody Kessler pass deflected off of Woods.