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Practice Report: Lincoln Riley Says It's Time For USC Football To Be At Its Best

Oct 11, 2022

Given USC's record in 2021, Lincoln Riley's 6-0 start to the season almost feels like an accomplishment in itself. However, the head coach warned on Tuesday (Oct. 11) that No. 7 USC Football's record in the first half of the schedule doesn't guarantee success at the end of the season.

"There'll be several 6-0 teams; some that finish really well, some that finish okay, and some that don't finish very good," Riley explained. "So it's great, but it is just a start. It's not a guarantee of anything."

So what's the key to adding more wins to USC's record? Riley believes it begins with continuous improvement.

"The target moves," Riley explained. "What's good enough Week One is not good enough Week Three, which is not good enough Week Seven, which is not good enough Week Nine. Other [opponents] that you play, you've got to expect their best and expect that they're going to be getting better."

This weekend USC will face one of its biggest tests to kick off part two of the regular season: Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium. By all accounts, however, the Trojans are anxious for what's next.

"It'll be a challenging second half of the season, but this is when it gets the most fun," Riley said. "This is just what you do it for, like you put yourself in a great position. Now it's time to go accelerate and be our best."

Notes from USC's Tuesday practice of Utah Week

  • Center Brett Neilon shared his scouting report on the Utes' defensive front:

    • "They're very talented upfront, always," Neilon said. "They always have a talented front seven. They play hard. They're physical, big, and disciplined. They're gonna throw a lot of good moves. It's gonna be a physical fight in the box. They obviously have a lot of talent."

  • Redshirt senior Bobby Haskins missed several plays against Washington State Saturday due to injury, so redshirt freshman Mason Murphy was selected to fill in his role. Riley shared the thought process behind that decision:

    • "It just felt like it was the right decision at that point," Riley said. "We've got some guys that have been practicing well. We got some tough decisions to make there. We felt like it was, in that situation, the right time to give Mason a shot."

  • This week isn't the first time Riley has scouted quarterback Cam Rising. The two grew familiar with each other on the recruiting trail when Rising was a high school prospect:

    • "He's a cool kid," Riley said. "It was good to be able to reconnect with him. It had been a while when we reconnected at Pac-12 Media Day. He's a neat kid. He's got a great family. It's been cool to see. He's bounced around a little bit, but he's obviously found a tremendous home. It seems like he's been a really great fit there for the team and what they've done offensively; he's running very well, and then you can see this year just his evolution. He's more experienced. They're doing more things, through him, which is no surprise - running the ball well and throwing it well. I mean that was my recruiting coming out. I thought he was a really good player. And he's been a very good player. I'm obviously not on the same side as him this week but I'm excited for his career, how it's gone, and where it will go after this."

  • Inside linebacker Ralen Goforth shared what makes Rising a unique quarterback:

    • "What I've seen from film is that when he carries the ball, it's kind of like he's a running back," Goforth said. "He has a tremendous stiff arm move that he likes to do. He's a tremendous runner, but he can also hurt you with his arm. You have to be very careful with him."


Tuesday's media availability

Breaking down USC's 30-14 win over Washington State