Monday Practice Report

After Saturday's hard-fought win, the Trojans now prepare to face the Washington Huskies and Tyrone Willingham, who announced today that he won't return after the 2008 season. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Monday's practice.

Defense Passes Test

Before Saturday's matchup, Pete Carroll called Arizona's spread offense the "most balanced" that USC had faced all season, but the Trojans dominant defense successfully shut down the Wildcats' passing game and made their offense one-dimensional.

"I don't think If I would have believed it if you told me we'd have so much success against their terrific passing game," Carroll said after USC's 17-10 win.

On Monday, Carroll said he had looked forward to the challenge that Arizona's offense presented and was very pleased with the results.

"I was anxious to see what was going to happen, too," Carroll admitted. "I thought it was a really good test for us because this was the first really balanced, skilled running and throwing team."

The Trojans certainly passed the test, holding Willie Tuitama and the Wildcats to 88 passing yards on the night and surrendered just 10 points.

"I didn't know that we could hold their passing game in such check," Carroll said. "I would never have thought that they would throw for 80 yards.

"As we matched up during the game and our corners were covering all of their deep ball stuff and we were banging around the tight end, keeping him out of the mix, it just started to take shape."

The Trojans defense currently ranks first in the nation in total defense, allowing 215.6 yards a game, and scoring defense, giving up just 8.1 points a game.

Carroll Reacts to Willingham Firing

Tyrone Willingham announced at his weekly press conference that he would not be returning as the head coach of the Washington Huskies after the 2008 season.

Willingham has gone 11-32 in three-plus seasons at Washington, and the Huskies haven't won a single game in 2008.

After Monday's practice, Pete Carroll reacted to the news of Willingham's firing.

"Knowing the competitor that he is, he's got to be sick about it because he had set his sights on turning this thing this year," Carroll said. "To have to come out of it now and make a statement that he's not going to be there at the end of the season is a crusher for him."

Sanchez is Davey O'Brien Award Semifinalist

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was named a Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist on Monday. The Davey O'Brien Award is given annually to the top quarterback in college football.

O'Brien Semifinalists:

Sam Bradford - Oklahoma
Daryll Clark - Penn State
Chase Daniel - Missouri
Max Hall - BYU
Graham Harrell - Texas Tech
David Johnson - Tulsa
Colt McCoy - Texas
Todd Reesing - Kansas
Zac Robinson - Oklahoma State
Mark Sanchez - USC
Matthew Stafford - Georgia
Tim Tebow - Florida
John Parker Wilson - Alabama

News and Notes

- Everson Griffen, Averell Spicer, Damian Williams and Gerald Washington were among the players that didn't participate in practice on Monday.

- Spicer has a sprained ankle and wore a boot at practice.

- Everson Griffen didn't practice because he had a toe nail removed.

- Damian Williams banged up his shoulder again against Arizona and was held out of contact.

- Gerald Washington is still recovering from the sprained ankle he suffered against Washington State.

- Linebacker Jordan Campbell had the play of the day for the defense intercepting a pass from Aaron Corp.

- The wide receivers stayed after practice on Monday to run and get extra work.


USCFootball.com Top Stories