Howard Jones Field, the final frontier. Saturday's practice seemed to drag
on, Sunday is an off-day and Monday marks the start of fall classes.
Walking toward the football field, one couldn't help but notice band director extraordinaire, Dr. Arthur C. Bartner barking orders, yelling and screaming at band members to "get it right." Bartner, in his 37th year as director has led the best marching band on the West Coast since 1970.
Band members would refute this, as their self-proclaimed title is, "The Best Marching Band in the History of the Universe."
Who can argue the point? Both Coach Carroll and Bartner should be canonized saints of Southern California, afterall, Bartner sat through "the dark days."
10:30 a.m. - Get the Sleep Out of Your Eyes
Moving a step slow after a fantastic Salute to Troy celebration on Friday night, coaches fly into action, barking orders and motivational commands to get the team moving along. Before too long, players are cranked up; drills and exercises pick up speed. The word of the day is "Finish!" From Carroll on down, players are encouraged to finish strong.
Fundamentals and Technique
More than half the practice was spent on the basics. Where it happens. In the trenches, hand-offs, passing, pass coverage, handwork and footwork. This is where the National Championship will be won. Sound football mechanics.
Who's Gearing up for Kickoff
Tailbacks getting reps today included Stafon Johnson, Desmond Reed, Broderick Green and C.J. Gable. There's a better than good chance this will be the opening
day rotation. The only change would be if Chauncey Washington makes a miraculous
recovery and practices full speed/full contact on Monday. Look for Washington to
play at Nebraska.
Allen Bradford participated in exercises but remained on the sidelines for contact drills. Over the last two days, Trey Henderson has lost the crutches. Vidal Hazelton appears full speed. Joe McKnight is mobile but remains on the sideline. C.J. Gable participated in all exercises.
It's ironic how the Trojans were criticized for having 10 quality tailbacks. Since only a few healthy backs have been available, having an excess of tailbacks turns out to be quite prudent.
Is it Baseball Season Yet?
Eight members of the USC Baseball team attended the practice, walked the sideline and finally watched the team from the stadium at Dedeaux Field. USC Football and Basketball will contend for titles this year. Here's hoping the baseball team can do the same.
Gable broke off on a handoff for a long run and had several short runs.
Patrick Turner had two nice catches, Reed worked at tailback. Johnson continued
to run, catch and block well. Booty's passes were accurate, but one was batted
down at the line.
On the defensive end, several runs were stuffed in the backfield, Chris Galippo loudly stuffed a Broderick Green run behind the line, Luther Brown intercepted an Aaron Corp pass, and Lawrence Jackson batted a Booty pass at the line of scrimmage. The final play of the day was a short touchdown pass from Corp to Rhett Ellison in the endzone.
That's All and That's Fine
This concludes our coverage of Fall Camp. On Monday, fall classes begin and game preparations for Saturday's home opener against the Idaho Vandals will be in full swing. It has been an enjoyable Fall Camp. See you at the game! Aloha and Fight On!