Tuesday Practice Report

The Trojans had another high-energy practice on Competition Tuesday as they continue to prepare for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Look inside for news on Mark Sanchez, Brian Cushing, Kyle Moore and much more.

Sanchez Thrives Under Pressure

All eyes in the college football world will be on the Coliseum this Saturday as the top-ranked Trojans face off against the No.5 Ohio State Buckeyes, and USC quarterback Mark Sanchez would have it no other way.

"This is why you want to be a quarterback at USC growing up," Sanchez said of this weekend's matchup. "You want to play in big games like this."

The junior quarterback from Mission Viejo has watched on as Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and John David Booty lead the Trojans to victory in big game after big game, and now is his chance to shine.

"I talked to Carson (Palmer) this morning, talked to Matt (Leinart) last week and I will probably talk to John David (Booty) before this big game because they have been through it all," Sanchez said. "I can't help but want to know what to expect and how it went for them."

Sanchez is a natural leader that is at ease in the spotlight and credits his father for preparing him for situations such as the upcoming Ohio State game by working with him for hours on the empty practice field while he was growing up.

"We wouldn't leave until it was dark, and my mom would be in the car screaming from the parking lot that dinner was getting cold," Sanchez said with a big smile, recalling how his father prepared him for all the pressure that comes with being the quarterback at the top football program in the country.

This Saturday, Sanchez will face plenty of pressure from one of the top defenses in college football, in front of a national television audience, and you can be sure there is no place the young gunslinger would rather be.

"I thrive under pressure and want that kind of pressure," Sanchez said.

Beanie Watch

Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel announced Tuesday that tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells will play against the USC Trojans this Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The announcement came after a week of speculation and uncertainty regarding the extent of Well's injury.

Pete Carroll expected Wells to be available for Saturday's game and has used both Broderick Green and Allen Bradford in practice to imitate Well's physical running style.

"We have been thinking that was going to happen," Carroll said of Wells playing against the Trojans. "He has dealt with injuries really well through his career so we just assumed he would do it again."

Wells rushed for 111 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown before being injured in the Buckeyes season-opening 43-0 victory over Youngstown State.

Injury News

USC linebacker Brian Cushing left practice early after suffering a possible hip pointer on Tuesday.

"He got hit in the hip in walk-thru. A guy ran by him and kneed him in the hip a little bit," Carroll said. "They thought it would be best to make sure and rest him and find out what happened."

Defensive end Kyle Moore was also limited in practice on Tuesday. Moore was sidelined with back spasms but was able to return to the field later in practice.

Coach Carroll didn't consider either injury serious.

Wide receiver Vidal Hazelton is still suffering from a sprained ankle but made some progress on Tuesday.

Hazelton went through individual drills with the receivers and looked to be near full speed.

"He looked like he was going pretty good," Carroll said of Hazelton. "We got to make sure that he is at full speed to do the things he has to do."

If Hazelton isn't available on Tuesday then Damian Williams would step in as the starter.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden
at kevin@scplaybook.com


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