Thursday Practice: The Excitement Builds

After months of media buildup, and two weeks of intense practices, Pete Carroll and his staff have put the finishing touches on the game plan and the week of practice is in the rear view mirror.

The Excitement Builds

With the conclusion of the Trojans practice on Thursday, all the preparation for the most anticipated college football game of the season is nearly over.

"Well, this is a long awaited matchup for everybody, particularly for the fans of Ohio State and the fans of USC," said Carroll on Tuesday, acknowledging the national interest in Saturday's matchup.

After months of media buildup, and two weeks of intense practices, Pete Carroll and his staff have put the finishing touches on the game plan and the week of practice is in the rear view mirror.

"Basically the hard work and the preparation out here on the field is over," said Coach Carroll after Thursday's practice.

The Trojans will be back at Howard Jones Field on Friday for a short walk-thru but the Trojans and Buckeyes are now ready to go toe-to-toe under the bright lights of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"It's going to be hype," said defensive end Kyle Moore. "It's going to be a great feeling. I get goose bumps every time I go to the Coliseum.

"It's going to be real exciting to see all the fans hang over the tunnel and out to the field."

Carroll added: "Guys are excited about it, they know it has been a long haul to get here,"

For the players and the fans the wait is almost over.

Healthy Trojans Have No Excuses

After having a bye week to rest their various bumps and bruises the Trojans head into Saturday's game with a clean bill of health.

On Thursday, Kyle Moore and Vidal Hazelton both made it through practice and said they would be available to play against Ohio State.

Hazelton suffered a sprained ankle in the Trojans 52-7 win over Virginia but has practiced at full speed the last two days and received medical clearance from team doctors.

"That bye week helped me out a lot," Hazelton said. "It's still a little sore but you got to play through a little bit of pain."

Defensive end Kyle Moore missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday with back spasms but returned today after seeing a chiropractor.

"It felt a whole lot better than yesterday and the day before that," Moore said. "Tomorrow I will probably be about 95 percent and hopefully Saturday I will be 100 percent."

Safety Will Harris was also back in action after tweaking his ankle during Wednesday's practice.

While the status of Beanie Wells remains uncertain, the Trojans will be at full-strength come Saturday.

"We're very healthy at this time. We have just about everybody available to us," Carroll said. "So by the end of this week, we have no excuses in any way."

Curtis McNeal Update

2008 recruit Curtis "Moody" McNeal was walking on the sidelines today with a big smile on his face. McNeal said he had been cleared by the NCAA on Thursday and plans to enroll in classes at USC on Friday.

The four-star running back from Venice High School plans to redshirt this season.


Vidal Hazelton has been cleared for Saturday's game.

Stay tuned to SCPlaybook.com for all the news, notes and quotes on the top-ranked USC Trojans.


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