Trojans Rose Bowl Practice Week Begins with Fun
Rose Bowl game week is underway. The Trojans held their first official game week practice at Howard Jones-Brian Kennedy field. When questioned if being in the third Rose Bowl in as many years was getting redundant, Pete Carroll replied, "This is the happiest place on earth!" After a light workout this morning, the team loaded up the buses and left for Disneyland, symbolic of the official start of Rose Bowl Preparations.
Post Christmas Monday Schedule
True to form, Coach Carroll practiced the normal weekly routine, taking into account the change of schedule. Today was "Monday practice" and the team held a very light workout without pads, and will have a more intense practice tomorrow, with the "Competition Tuesday" ritual. Traditionally, Tuesdays are the toughest day of practice.
McKnight's Flight Delayed
When asked if all the players got back from the short Christmas break, Carroll replied that everyone was back except for Joe McKnight, whose plane got delayed from Arkansas. Coach Carroll did not seem too concerned about the incident.
Cry Me a Rivers
When asked (multiple times) about Keith Rivers, Carroll was all praises for his All-American linebacker. He said Rivers has done everything ever asked of him, that he is the consummate Trojan. Rivers got in his first full practice; he is battling injuries, most notably a bone bruise and a high-ankle sprain. Carroll indicated that Rivers would play in the Rose Bowl; the level of his contribution will depend on his recovery. Coach Carroll said, "Keith did okay and Chauncey did alright."
Short Practice Notes
Practice was quite brief today. No sooner had the full team taken the field and ran a few drills; the three air horn blasts indicated the end of practice. Most players made a beeline to the locker room to get dressed for an afternoon at Disneyland. The buses were loaded and left campus at 1:30 p.m.
Against the scout teams: Aaron Corp paired up with Brandon Carswell for a touchdown in the endzone. Corp handed off to Marc Tyler who fumbled and Clay Matthews took it in for a touchdown. Terrell Thomas intercepted a Corp pass. On the offensive side, John David Booty tossed a nice pass to Ronald Johnson. Booty also threaded the needle for the touchdown in the endzone to Vidal Hazelton.
One on Ones: While the 1st team offense and defense squared off on the north end of the field, the scout teams paired up on the south end. Chauncey Washington finally got the ball after sitting out of practice since the UCLA game. Washington looked good in his first action since suffering a hip-pointer against the Bruins. Hazelton and Ronald Johnson both caught impressive catches. Stafon Johnson and Hershel Dennis got some work in today.
On his way off the field, John David Booty spoke about the Rose Bowl preparations. About being ready for the game, Booty said, "Come game time, and game day, it's really about the whole week of preparation. We feel like if we have a good week of preparation and going into game time, we have a good chance to win."
Practice resumes tomorrow on Howard Jones-Brian Kennedy Field.