On Turnover Wednesdays, the team drills forcing and covering turnovers. The drills are rotated by position. On the offensive side of the ball, "taking care of the ball" is drilled. This Season Coach Carroll has emphasized that the team has not been creating as many turnovers as he would like.
On the Outside Looking In
Some of the players on the sidelines included: C.J. Gable, Chilo Rachal, Butch Lewis, Nick Howell, Travon Patterson and Shareece Wright. Wright is working hard at getting back in the lineup, and as reported earlier, Gable will undergo surgery and apply for a medical redshirt in the future.
Why Carry 10 High School All-American Tailbacks?
Many have criticized Pete Carroll for carrying a full tailback contingent. Snicker, snicker. Aren't you afraid your tailbacks will be unhappy? "I don't want them to be happy," would be Carroll's reply. Carroll wants the tailbacks to be motivated by competition.
Then again, USC started the season with 10 tailbacks and is down to about 4 healthy runners in the backfield. Mostly due to injury, the tailbacks available for Saturday's contest against the Stanford Tree includes: Chauncey Washington, Allen Bradford, Desmond Reed and Hershel Dennis. Joe McKnight is available as well, but he would not be considered an every down back this early in his career.
Special Teams Work in Progress
While punting to McKnight and Desmond Reed, Greg Woidneck had a punt blocked. The field goal unit made an extra point and was successful from the 22 and 35-yard lines. Two other kicks were not successful from the 32-yard line.
Offense Fares Better Wednesday
The defense was still hitting hard on Wednesday after getting the better of the offense on Tuesday, but the offense stood its ground. There were a couple of dropped passes, but the defense wasn't able to force a turnover. John David Booty was "sacked" a couple times, however.
C.J. Gable and Cary Harris Updates
C.J. Gable spoke about his decision to have surgery and apply for a redshirt year. He has been hampered by a groin injury for the better part of a year and spent the off-season trying to recover. After talking to the team physician, trainers, family and coaches, he decided surgery was his best alternative. Said Gable, "I want to get better for next year…I've still been doing good, averaging 11 yards per carry, but I want to get better for next year."
Cary Harris has been cleared for practice. Harris wants to return against
Stanford. He still needs to be cleared for game contact.
Famous Faces in the Crowd
It was a very interesting practice today, the team played highly competitive ball, but take a look at the sidelines: in attendance today was former SC greats John Papadakis and Tom Malone. Mike Garrett made an appearance as well. More interesting were the ex-Bruins in attendance: Wendell Tyler and Steve Lavin. Tyler makes sense; he came to watch his son. But Steve Lavin? Why would he attend a USC football practice? You may recall during summer camp, Joe Montana was on the football field with his family in tow. Interesting indeed.
Malone spent some time on the field after practice, kicking punts. He currently isn't on an NFL roster and said he is trying to keep in shape by working out on Howard Jones Field when it's possible. FYI - Matt Leinart was on campus yesterday.