Wednesday Practice Notes

The Trojans hit the practice field with just three more days to prepare before kickoff. The theme of the day was "turnovers," as defined by Pete Carroll.

The theme of the day is "turnovers," as defined by Pete Carroll. Carroll's theme, "It's all about the ball," meaning taking away the ball on defense and protecting the ball on offense is emphasized. The day's drills focused on ball handling.

Besides this aspect of the game, game planning and high speed walk-throughs were practiced.

Look Who's Back

After Tuesday's jolting collision between Rey Maualuga and Patrick Turner, Maualuga walked away, unscathed. Turner was a bit shaken up but returned to practice Wednesday with little ill-effects from the incident.

Look Who's Not

Matt Spanos was not on the field today. Coach Carroll relayed that Spanos suffered a muscle tear and will be out for three weeks. In his place, Jeff Byers will take snaps at center and Kris O'Dowd will back him up.

Look for Alex Parsons to work at center as well. In retrospect, the move of Parsons to the offensive line two weeks ago appears genius.

Lady in the House

ESPN Sport Center's correspondent Shelley Smith was on the sidelines and taped segments with John David Booty and Pete Carroll.

Highlights of the Day

Coach Dave Watson wins the award for the most vocal coach on Wednesday, firing up the troops with motivational verbalizations.

Service Team standout the last three days has been Brandon Carswell. Carswell has been tearing up the passing lanes and has made himself quite noticeable.

Vidal Hazelton caught several passes, three of which were touchdowns. David Ausberry continues his acrobatic receptions. Byers and O'Dowd worked well in the center position. Allen Bradford played impressively at tailback. Joe McKnight is working up to game speed (in a hurry).

Defensively, Lawrence Jackson rushed hard and had a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage. Rey Maualuga was still in a higher gear than the rest of the team, but took half a tick off his hitting. Good for the Trojans. Vandals beware.

As in days past, play ended on a touchdown. It was Hazelton's turn as he caught a high pass in the middle of the end zone as the final whistle blew.

Interesting Note

For the last three days, Ronald Johnson has worked on his receptions, practicing long after the team has been dismissed. Excellent work ethic displayed by Johnson. Top Stories