The Trojans returned to practice on Friday to begin preparing to play in the Rose Bowl on New Years Day against Illinois. One player that didn't practice today and won't return until next week is starting quarterback John David Booty.
Booty banged his injured finger against UCLA but stayed in the game and led the Trojans to a 24-7 win.
After practice Pete Carroll said that while Booty's finger was fine they would give him time to rest it.
"We are going to hold John (David Booty) out for a couple days here just to give him two weeks to get his finger back because he did bang it in the game," Carroll said.
A Look at the Future
Pete Carroll is a strong believer of giving the younger players a good look anytime USC has a bye week or extra practice. So during the bowl preparation several younger players will get playing time with the first team.
"This is what this time is for," explained Carroll. "Everybody that's got a battle at their position is going to get a look."
"You can feel there is an excitement about it. Mark (Sanchez) is out there and Mitch (Mustain) is out there and Aaron Corp is running this offense," said Pete Carroll. "You can kind of feel the connection to the future this first week of work."
Mark Sanchez looked particularly good running the offense. Sanchez connected with Ronald Johnson on a deep touchdown pass to end practice.
When asked about the play, Pete Carroll cracked a little smile and replied, "Yeah, there will be a lot of combinations like that."
USC senior tight end Fred Davis was named the Mackey Award Winner, which is given to the top tight end in college football.
After practice Pete Carroll said the award was a great honor for Davis and a fitting reward for all of his hard work.
"We started the day out recognizing Freddy's (Davis) award that he got. It's amazing to get that kind of recognition for one of your guys," said Carroll. "Freddy had a fantastic season and to get recognized as the Mackey Award Winner is really very cool."
After winning the Mackey Award Davis said he took a moment to reflect on his time at USC. "I have been through a lot so to be in this situation now is great," said Davis.
He also said it has been a long and rewarding journey from the being a young homesick kid from Ohio to now being the nation's top tight end.
Senior linebacker Keith Rivers made a valiant effort playing as much as he could in the Trojans 24-7 victory over crosstown rival UCLA. Rivers played great in his last game at the Coliseum recording 3 tackles, forcing and recovering a fumble before re-injuring his ankle.
"He will get two weeks of rest right now and it's been an ankle that has bothered him the whole time," Pete Carroll said.
Rivers was in a boot at Friday's practice but should be available for the Rose Bowl. He will be alright but this is the time to get him good rest," explained Carroll.
Chris Galippo Update
USC freshman linebacker Chris Galippo was on the sidelines watching practice on Friday. Galippo is still recovering from back surgery that he had in October and said that he has just started working with weights again.
"It's going good. I have just been rehabbing for the last three weeks now," Galippo said. "I will be back in pads probably for spring. I don't know how much contact but I will be back for sure."
Recruits at Practice
Recruits spotted at practice:
Mark Sanchez, Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp all got extended work with the first team today.
Mark Sanchez connected with Ronald Johnson for a deep touchdown during 11-on-11 drills.
David Buehler was 2 for 2 on field goal attempts connecting from 30 and 45 yards.