With just a few days left before the Rose Bowl, expectations rise for this Trojan team, particularly the seniors. Patrick Turner, still nursing a leg injury looks less likely to make a full comeback for this game. Getting into Howard Jones Field becomes more difficult.
A Matter of Security
As the Trojans near the 94th rendition of the Rose Bowl, energy levels build around the football team. Getting into Howard Jones Field is not as easy as it has been all-season long. Some spectators were turned away, family and media may attend practice, but don't expect to get into the practice field easily.
Warning Signpost Ahead: Who's on the Stationary Bicycle?
Not a good sign at all, Patrick Turner worked hard on the stationary bike this afternoon, trying to get his bruised leg to respond. The closer it gets to game time and Turner has not been on the field will make it hard for him to have a significant impact on the game. Pete Carroll commented, "It's not looking very good for him to get back if he can't practice…It's been a long time that he has been out."
It's not as if Turner hasn't tried to come back. Carroll continued, "He's trying, he was out there working with the trainers today." And that he was, Turner was seen working very hard on the sidelines.
I Feel Good, So Good…
The excitement in the air, feels so, well…good! Music was piped in, crowd noise and hip-hop. But by the time the end of practice rolled around, and James Brown's "I Feel Good," playing on the sound system, one just had to feel good about what's developing on the field.
Players turned the intensity up a notch with hard hitting on the defensive side of the ball and smooth, fast moves on the offensive side.
Offense Against the Service Team
John David Booty connected on passes to Fred Davis, Brad Walker, Joe McKnight, Stanley Havili, David Ausberry, Vidal Hazelton and Allen Bradford. Chauncey Washington and Stafon Johnson got the bulk of the carries, but Hershel Dennis and Joe McKnight got some looks. Mark Sanchez completed passes to Ronald Johnson, McKnight and Havili.
Booty connected with Davis, Havili and Garrett Green, but it was Vidal Hazelton who shined during this drill. Hazelton caught three consecutive passes, the third for a touchdown, then later caught a second touchdown. Full Team Practice
During the full team portion of practice, the defense came up with a turnover as Shareece Wright picked a Booty pass. Lawrence Jackson nearly had an interception as he tipped a pass and juggled the ball for a few seconds before it fell to the ground.
Booty connected with Ronald Johnson and Fred Davis, while Sanchez hit David Ausberry and threw a laser to Ronald Johnson in the endzone.
SCPlaybook has taken time with several out-going seniors this past week to get a feel for their thoughts on the Rose Bowl and beyond. As a group, this senior class looks to put a Rose Bowl victory under their belts and feel ambivalent about leaving the program. Look for upcoming profiles with Fred Davis, Hershel Dennis, Chauncey Washington and more in the upcoming days.