Cushing Goes Down
Linebacker Brian Cushing went down in pain when he bumped knees during practice against the service team. Cushing was clearly in pain, and was assisted to the training table, where he was able to flex his knee, but was done for the day. Coach Carroll explained the injury, "He got hit knee-to-knee, he already had a bruise on the inside, his knee is perfectly stable…it'll probably be pretty sore tomorrow, it's not a structural thing, it doesn't look like, at all. I think he had a hurt knee last year and played in the Rose Bowl." After tomorrow's practice, players will get three days off for the Christmas Holiday then return to practice on Wednesday at Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Field.
Sights and a Whole Lot of Sound
Like an old friend, music blared from the sidelines and crowd noise was played on the field as the Trojans frequently encounter before big ball games. The practice ended with a tribute to James Brown music coming through the speakers on the field.
Sunny Southern California
As the song goes, "It never rains in Southern, California…" at practice time, one would have believed that. Skies were blue and the sun shined brightly and kept everyone warm on the field. This contrasted yesterday's gloomy, cold and misty practice.
Another good day of practice today, at a nice speed. John David Booty did not look as crisp as he did yesterday, overthrowing the ball on a couple of passes and missing receivers outright. Mark Sanchez had a good outing; throwing clean passes to his receivers.
Desmond Reed was back at practice after missing yesterday's session to finish a paper for one of his classes. The one missed day may have mattered as he dropped the ball on a punt reception today.
Fred Davis continues to be the strongest receiver, but Vidal Hazelton had a pair of dazzling catches during the team portion of practice. Anthony McCoy had an impressive grab of a Booty pass in the endzone for a touchdown.
On hand to observe practice today was assistant football coach – offensive coordinator, Andy Siegel from the College of the Sequoias. Siegel had enthusiastic comments about the Giants' sophomore tight end, 6'5", 285 lb, Marcus Graham whom has gained the interest of several division one universities.
Booty Call and Lo Jack Talk
Discussing playing in a major bowl game, John David Booty said, "I never played in one until last year, but I've been there several times. As a team, we know what to expect." He concluded, "We're excited about it and the things coming up after Christmas."
Lawrence Jackson discussed his senior class accomplishments, "It's the ultimate sign of respect, we go 10-2 and people say, ‘what happened to the Trojans?' We like what we've done, but there's still a lot of work to be done. We still have our ‘hard hats' on around here." When asked if he was proud of being part of the senior class with the most wins in history, Jackson replied, "It's kind of special…if we go out there and lose then it means nothing to us. You can't really get too excited about it now."
The Continuing Saga of Ricky Rosas
Yesterday at practice, ESPN cameras followed Ricky Rosas to get more clips of the volunteer Gatorade bartender/office aid for a film piece they will air on the Rose Bowl Gameday sequence. Today was a more normal day for Rosas as the parade of cameras following him has finally slowed down.
Rosas is being housed in the team hotel while preparations for the Rose Bowl continue. He proudly flashed his hotel key, which was labeled "Special Assistant." Last night, after the day's work was done, Rosas enjoyed a movie with three Football Office employees in Santa Monica, where the team is staying. On Friday, Rosas will go on a Holiday shopping spree after football practice.
Reflecting on the successful Holiday Drive last Sunday, Rosas explained that his family is very excited about the gifts and recognition they received. His sister Nicki enjoys the Nintendo game they received so much that she plays it all the time. His mother is quite appreciative for the support the family has received.
Tomorrow's practice at the Home Depot Center will be at 11:30 a.m.; the team will then take a three-day break and return to Howard Jones Field at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.