Quoting Carroll: Thursday Practice

The USC Trojans headed to The Home Depot Center on Thursday to continue preparing for their matchup against Illinois in the Rose Bowl. Kevin Carden caught up with Pete Carroll after practice to get the coaches thoughts on Thursday's practice, Keith Rivers and much more.

Pete Carroll on Thursday's Practice:

"This is the start of the serious part of the game plan. Things worked out great today. This is an incredible facility here and everything about this thing is so first class. It is really fun to come out here and do our work here. There are a lot of really good amenities to the structure and setup and all of that. We hit it real nice on the practice field and we are going to have some fun here and have lunch up in the stadium club."

Pete Carroll on Keith Rivers:

"We don't know if he is going to make it back or not. We are counting on him but we don't know until he does it. He's been through this and he feels pretty confident that it's going to come back around. He is familiar with the soreness and stiffness that he's dealing with and how to gauge it because he has dealt with this all year. We are just going to rest him as long as we can. We have one huge week coming up after Christmas that hopefully he will be able to participate in and get ready to play. In the meantime Kaluka (Maiava) and Malcolm (Smith) are taking it and Thomas Williams can help us there as well."

Pete Carroll on Malcolm Smith:

"It has been a very good couple weeks for Malcolm (Smith). He has really done a lot of good stuff out here and he showed very well again at practice today. It makes us feel that if Keith (Rivers) can't go that we can have really good front line play and good backup opportunity if we need it."

Pete Carroll on Chilo Rachal:

"It's just kind of day-to-day is how they are taking it. He's still a little bit sore but he's got flexibility and movement and he doesn't have anything that needs repair. It's just a little bit of stiffness and this kind of weather doesn't help him any. They are just going to wait. I don't think he will do a lot tomorrow or the next day and then after we come back we will get back to work."

Pete Carroll on Christian Tupou:

"He's really been an obvious high-motor, high-energy competitor out here and he has stood out. He has been service team captain a couple weeks during the season which is unusual for a freshman to be able to do that. But it is just because he is such a tough kid and works so hard and he just caught the favor of the coaches for obvious reasons. When you coach and you see a guy work like that you just love it. He is smart and he is physical and tough and he is going to be a real good contributor. He's going to really move quickly through the competition because he gives you everything he's got every time he's out here. He's just a great kid and we are proud of him."

Pete Carroll on Marc Tyler:

"He's a real heady, savvy football player. He's got great sense. You can see it in his feel for the running game and you can see it as a pass catcher and he's a good blocker too. He's ahead of some of the other guys already in his blocking ability. He's a very well-rounded football player. I think he's a very well equipped all-around football player and he would have played this year if he would have been healthy. He's had a hard time getting really back to full speed and full strength but we have seen enough to know that everybody is excited about him."


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