NITTANY NOTES: More Bowl Bits

More exclusive Nittany Notes from Fight On State on Penn State's Rose Bowl preparations as the Lions prepare to make some changes and get ready for some holiday festivities.

Session Schedule

Penn State's general schedule for the next few days is as follows:

Wednesday: Practice Home Depot Center
Thursday: Off, Evening Holiday Party
Friday: Practice, Disneyland visit

The team is scheduled to switch hotels on Wednesday, which will mark its shift into its standard game week schedule.

Injury Front

Receiver Jordan Norwood is still taking it easy from the ankle injury he sustained early this month in practice. "He's not out there yet, but he's getting close — they are just being cautious with him and letting him get some extra recovery time," an observer said.

Another injury of note is that scout team safety David Keisling, who had been playing the role of USC SS Kevin Ellison (No. 4). Keisling sustained an ACL injury earlier this week in practice.

Pressing Questions

What has the defense been focusing on?

Pressure. The front seven have been working on a variety of schemes to pressure the pocket. "[USC's Mark] Sanchez is a good quarterback, but teams have been able to confuse him with pressure with different looks," an observer said.

The front four is also focusing on the running attack of the Trojans. "USC has found a lot of success on the ground with several backs [Joe McKnight (646 yards), Stafon Johnson (642 yards) and C.J. Gable (604 yards)], but this front has seen the likes of [Javon] Ringer, [Shonn] Greene and [Chris] Wells. So they've had some impressive tests this season," an observer said.

What's the attitude of the team?

"There's a lot of enthusiasm for this game," an observer said. As another explained, "There are a lot of stone faces. The staff has been preaching and preaching that this is an opportunity. The guys are enjoying it, but have really turned it on in the early drills."

How will the team celebrate the holiday?

The traditional team Christmas party is scheduled for Wednesday night (Christmas Eve). A second university charter that includes coaches wives and children will arrive earlier in the day.

On Christmas Day (Thursday), the players will be on their own for dinner and such.

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