Preparing for the California Golden Bears
Practice was swift and the players appear to be on the field with an attitude this week. The speed of practice has sped up and the team seems to have a purpose in mind. USC visits California this Saturday, 5:00 p.m. PST on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, check your local listings.
Entering the practice field through the hallowed Goux's Gate, one couldn't help but notice the difference in attitude on the field. Both the offense and defense have picked up the tempo and it should be fun to watch the Trojans on the field the last three games of the season. The end is near, the players know it and the seniors have a determination to end the season on a positive note.
Carroll's Take on the Renewed Attitude
Pete Carroll explained the sudden burst of energy the Trojans seem to have found: "Since daylight savings time clicked in, you practice here at night…you harken back to being out here at this time. The tempo seems to shift a little bit and everything seems to be sped up a little bit…It just reminds me of the finishes to the seasons and this time of year. The focus appears to be really sharp out here too."
A sign of things to come, perhaps…
It's All About the O
The defense of the Trojans has found its stride. There are still a hundred questions as to the status of the offense. We spent all practice scrutinizing the offense today. Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but the offense seems just about ready to pop.
As Pete Carroll explained yesterday in his press conference, the offense has been stumped by the unfortunate timing of injuries. The offensive line has been hampered all season long with injuries to Kristofer O'Dowd, Matt Spanos, and virtually everyone else on the line.
Likewise, the tailbacks have suffered injuries to Chauncey Washington, Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable, amongst others. Wide Receiver Patrick Turner took the better part of a month recovering from a shoulder injury. These misfortunes were capped off with John David Booty's broken finger, which took him a month to recover from.
A couple weeks ago, the offensive line started to get its players back. Likewise on offense, most have come back from their respective injuries.
The table is set, now is the time for the team to put it all together. If the offense can get to the speed and timing it needs, the Trojans should be able to finish off the season in reasonable fashion.
Booty got irritated at David Ausberry and let him know it. Ausberry missed a pass when he didn't turn around in time to see the ball. Booty expressed his displeasure and there was a period following that where all the passes were caught thrown at the receivers. This type of leadership has been missing in the offense, maybe they have grasped onto something here.
Hit of the Day - Clay Matthews
Clay Matthews flattened Stanley Havili in the middle of the field today. To say the least, Havili was dazed and took some time to get up off the ground. A credit to Havili's strength, he got up and caught the ball on the very next play. Great hit by Matthews.
As they did last week, the punting team got a lot of work in today. After practice, Greg Woidneck spent about half an hour punting.
The field goal unit was a perfect 4-4.
Music and extremely loud crowd noise was pumped into the practice field.
Booty continues to improve each day and put in a good workout.