The jawing between tailback Allen Bradford and defensive end Everson Griffen started early in practice. Then it escalated into pushing and shoving and later erupted into in all out brawl, at least that's what the fans, media and Pete Carroll thought.
Carroll was angered by what looked like scuffle between two teammates and quickly kicked Bradford and Griffen out of practice.
"He got pretty mad at us," Griffen said. "He was like, ‘Coach Jethro Everson's done, Coach T-Mac, 21 is done, get them off the field."
Seconds later the whole team surrounded Carroll with chants of, ‘You got punked! You got punked!'
"We talked it over in the locker room. Then we just put the plan into effect," Griffen said. "It worked pretty good. We got Coach Carroll!"
Carroll, who has earned the reputation as a prankster after teaming up with Will Ferrell and others to trick his players, finally found himself on the receiving end of the joke.
"I got punked. They staged it. I threw Everson and Allen Bradford out of the practice. They had a big chuckle about it," Carroll said. "You better ask Armond Armstead because I don't think he knew. He was duking it out. So I wasn't the only one who got fooled. But I definitely got punked today. And they liked that a lot."
After practice, Carroll promised retribution.
"There will be a pound of flesh," the coach joked.
USC center Kristofer O'Dowd received some good news on Tuesday when the MRI results showed no ligament damage.
O'Dowd won't need surgery and is expected to be out 2-3 weeks.
While O'Dowd is sidelined, Alex Parsons will take his place as the starting center.
"They're very similar. Both of them have very good quickness. Both of them understand the calls and stuff," offensive line coach Pat Ruel said. "The difference is that K.O.'s had a lot of experience. He's earned an all-Pac-10 honor. Parsons played a lot of right guard last year, and he's a starter in my mind."
Quarterback Aaron Corp dropped back at half-speed during practice and was able to throw some passes to the receivers.
Team doctors said that Corp is progressing normally and could possibly return to the practice field next week.
Right guard Nick Howell also missed practice after being injured during Monday's 89 play scrimmage at the Coliseum.
"He's got an ankle sprain," Ruel said. "He'll be back in a couple of days."
- 2009 recruit Patrick Hall attended practice but didn't participate in any drills. Carroll said it could still be a while before is cleared to play.
"He's here. There's still a process involved to get it all done, and it won't be finalized for a while. But he's able to be here," Carroll said. "It takes some time to get everything sorted out. We're just trying to max out what we can and get him as close to our program in the event that it all works out within the rules."
- Wide receiver Damian Williams was limited in practice because of a bruised quad.
"He's had an ongoing quad bruise. It's gotten to the point where he's not able to go full speed, so we're going to hold him out for a little bit and get him well," Carroll said. "He can play with it right now, but he's not at top speed and performance level."
- Alex Parsons will move from guard to center with the absence of Kris O'Dowd. So, what is the difference in the two positions?
"Talking to Jeff (Byers), we both kind of decided it's more of a finesse position," Parsons said. "You have to reach. It's more finesse then you get the power instead of guard and tackle where you have a guy in front of you and you pretty much have to go get him. You're head-to-head."
- After breaking down Monday's scrimmage film with the coaches, Matt Barkley let us know how he felt he performed.
"A little better but still there were a lot of mistakes. In the heat of the moment, you're always pretty pissed," Barkley said. "After looking over it, I thought I did do a little better. There were a lot of times where I could've gotten rid of the ball quicker. I held onto it a little too long. I thought today I did a lot better job of throwing the shorter routes and getting positive yards."
- Coach Carroll said he was confident that Alex Parsons will be able to fill in for O'Dowd and play at a very high level for the Trojans.
"There's no question he can. We had him throughout springtime. He played really good last night. He's fine. He's a really good player," Carroll said. "That's a good asset for us, knowing he can start at guard and at center. He's got excellent quickness. He's big enough. He knows his calls. He knows the whole system cold. We're very fortunate to have him."
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