We're less than two weeks away from kickoff and subtle changes are transpiring in the Land of Troy. While practice on Howard Jones - Brian Kennedy Field was in session, next door, on Cromwell Field, the first signs of USC Band Camp was heard. The percussion section practiced cadences and drumline sequences. Meanwhile, back at the practice field, temperatures topped 90 degrees.
Ken Norton Jr.
As the team went through warm ups, Coach Ken Norton Jr. was his enthusiastic self. Norton was heard yelling, "No UCLA T-shirts on this field!" "No UCLA T-shirts on this field!" "You are at the wrong practice!" That would be a nice sound bite to send to cross-town rivals.
There are a few select Trojans with hair that make a statement. For years, Rey Maualuga has been growing a mane that flows loudly out the back of his helmet. The incoming freshman class, fully loaded, talented and ready to take on all comers, have two sporting "large" hairdos of their own; Christian Tupou and Jordan Campbell are challenging Maualuga for "players with the biggest hair."
Pete Carroll's Hair for the Day
Coach Carroll ran on to the field at the start of practice, full of energy and sporting hair that was slicked back. If I had to venture a guess, I would say, given the temperature, Carroll had a swim at McDonald's Stadium before practice. Coach Carroll proceeded to involve himself with "hands-on" practice, at times rushing into the backfield alongside rushing defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers. During drills, Carroll was seen tossing passes with the special teams, he has a nice spiral and a fairly long arm.
Like last Saturday, much of the afternoon was spent on drills. The punters again put in a good afternoon, long high punts with plenty of hang time. The field goal unit missed a few kicks today; they did not seem as accurate as they were earlier in the week.
John David Booty was accurate most of the day, even if a couple of passes
were batted away by defenders covering passes. Michael McDonald had a pass
picked by Jim Abbott. Aaron Corp got more reps, at one point going to Jordan
Campbell for a nice gain, followed two plays later by another completion to
Sights and Sounds
- Alex Parsons is acclimating well to his offensive tackle/offensive line duties and put in a lot of work today.
-Clay Matthews made his presence known, in addition to the weight he put on over the summer, his sense of being around the ball has improved dramatically.
-Brian Cushing had a nice afternoon as well; he challenged passes and appeared more vocal.
-David Ausberry had a good afternoon, catching several passes and three touchdowns.
Let's Call It a Day
The last series of the afternoon put an exclamation point on a fine week of practice; on 1st down at the 25 yard line, Booty threw a laser to Patrick Turner to the eight yard line. On the next play, Chauncey Washington ran for short yardage. C.J. Gable then gained three yards. On the final play, Booty tossed the ball into the end zone to Turner for a touchdown. Appropriately, practice ended on this exchange.