Woods and Lee on QB differences

LOS ANGELES -- The biggest difference between USC's old quarterback, Matt Barkley, and new quarterback, Max Wittek, according to Trojans receiver Marqise Lee?

"Max throws much harder," Lee said Tuesday. "That crap hurts."

Indeed, the redshirt freshman Wittek has a significantly stronger arm than Barkley. He routinely tosses the ball 70 yards after practice, and has received rave reviews from fellow quarterbacks and other receivers.

He won't necessarily need to throw it as far as he possibly can on Saturday against No. 1 Notre Dame, but his arm strength is an overall positive. If he and Lee can coordinate their timing before then, deep balls could a serious threat.

USC receiver Robert Woods said Wittek's throws come in a "little faster" than Barkley's. But there is a downside to Wittek, he said.

"He's young out there," Woods said. "You see some of his throws are a little off and different reads.

"He just needs some experience, other than that he's pretty good."

It's the receivers' job to help him get some experience, Woods said.

"We just gotta keep his confidence high, make some plays when the ball's not perfect," Woods said. "We make those plays, he builds up his confidence, and he's feeling comfortable and getting used to it."

USC coach Lane Kiffin said Woods was diving for balls in practice on Tuesday. He was pleased with the effort of the Trojans' top receivers as they attempt to quickly build up their rapport with Wittek.

"They've been great," Kiffin said. "Robert and Marqise practiced as hard as they've ever practiced.