Walker has to fight for job

BY foxsports • September 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- Speaking of No. 13 USC's 21-14 loss at No. 9 Stanford last Saturday, Lane Kiffin called it the most missed assignments by an offensive line of any team he's ever coached.

Offensive line coach James Cregg is ready to move on.

"I'm trying to (not) reflect back on that game," Cregg said. "We're moving on."

And so is left tackle Aundrey Walker.

"I'm going to leave that behind me," said Walker when asked about his fourth quarter effort against Stanford. "That game is in the past. I'm just looking forward to this week."

Before he can get to this week and the Cal Golden Bears at the Coliseum on Saturday, Walker must first fight to keep his job.

He's been challenged.

On Sunday, Kiffin declared he would open up the competition at left tackle with Walker and freshman Max Tuerk. When the Trojans hit the practice field for the first time this week in preparation for Cal, it was Tuerk and Walker splitting reps in what is the beginning of a heated battle over the next two days.

Walker admitted he was "upset" when he was informed by Kiffin that he would be splitting reps this week, putting his job in jeopardy.

Of higher concern than Walker getting beat at the line of scrimmage and the mental mistakes, Kiffin wasn't pleased with the effort of his sophomore left tackle.

"Guys are going to get beat. Guys are going to drop balls," Kiffin said. "You're going to make mistakes but we won't tolerate (a) lack of great effort. Not when you put on these jerseys that all of these great players have worn before.

"I think Aundrey is going to respond well to this."

Walker says he's taking his potential demotion as motivation. It's the kick in the tail he needs.

 "Of course (it is)," Walker said. "Everybody does. Everybody has to get better, the whole team. That's our main goal right now.

"I'm just going to keep working hard. I don't let nothing stop me (from trying) to help the team. I'm just looking forward to working hard and getting better this week."

Walker and the rest of the offensive line didn't meet the intensity the Stanford front seven came out of the locker room with following halftime. Kiffin said they were "good" in the first half but "great" in the second half pointing to the fourth quarter where he feels the Cardinal front seven took over the game.

Walker and the rest of the offensive line were bullied as a result.

share story