It's game week

It's been an interesting off-season with our share of distractions, capped off by a police investigation during fall camp, but the good news is that it's now officially game week as the Trojans are less than seven days away from kicking off the 2004 season against Virginia Tech.

It's been an interesting off-season with our share of distractions, capped off by a police investigation during fall camp, but the good news is that it's now officially game week as the Trojans are less than seven days away from kicking off the 2004 season against Virginia Tech.

Finally we get a chance to return to what we all enjoy which is watching this USC team in action. We're less than seven days from seeing Leinart tossing strikes, Bush and White running wild, Cody and Groots leading an attacking defense and, maybe, we might even get to see Tom Malone punt.

For those who may worry about the distractions and the possible effect they may have on the team it's been noticeable at practice that this is a team which takes care of business once they are on the field. We also remind you that when the Trojans take the field next Saturday we will still have Pete Carroll in charge of the defense, Norm Chow calling the plays for the offense, Ed O and Tim Davis coaching the lines, etc. Is there another coaching staff you would trust more?

One Trojan fan commented recently about how this team has entered each year recently with a question mark area and these coaches always seem to find a way to fix it. Two years ago it was the offensive line and lack of a power running game. Carroll kept working until he found the right combination of linemen, and the right coach to coach them, and they hit their stride right about the time Justin Fargas entered the line-up and the results changed the Trojan season. Last year there was a lack of corners and a worry about replacing a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback. Carroll simply worked with a former receiver and a JC transfer to shore up the corner position while Chow developed a little used reserve to the point where he eventually joined John Elway as the only sophomores to be named Pac-10 POY.

Do you notice a pattern here? If something happens once or twice it's a coincidence but when it happens over and over it becomes a pattern. The USC coaches have clearly shown that they know what they are doing in terms of filling holes and keeping the team focused on the job at hand. On top of that, they now have an incredibly deep and talented group of players fighting for playing time and that gives the coaches a lot of options when needed. When injuries hit to Holmes and Byrd how nice is it for the coaches to find a willing Fred Davis asking about the possibility of playing tight end?

You can tell the Trojans are getting ready to play because their focus is so strong right now. With all the turmoil surrounding the team last week there couldn't have been a much better sight for Pete Carroll than to see Matt Leinart throwing four touchdowns in the final camp scrimmage while having his first unit defense basically shut down anything they faced as well. It's almost time to play ball once again and for this team it will have to be a welcome relief to finally get back on the field doing what they do best.


USCFootball.com Top Stories