Thursday Practice: Home Sweet Home

After spending four of the first six games on the road, the Trojans will finally be in a familiar locker room, playing in front of their friends and family, in a familiar stadium this Saturday. When the Oregon State Beavers head to the Los Angeles Coliseum, they will be entering a stadium that they haven't won a game in since 1960.

Home Sweet Home

After spending four of the first six games on the road, the Trojans will finally be in a familiar locker room, playing in front of their friends and family, in a familiar stadium this Saturday.

"We have been road warriors," said Carroll, whose team has yet to play at home this month. "It's wonderful to be back and playing in front of our crowd."

When the Oregon State Beavers head to the Los Angeles Coliseum, they will be entering a stadium that they haven't won a game in, in nearly fifty years.

To illustrate just how long it has been since the Beavers left the Coliseum field with smiles on their faces and more points on the scoreboard, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president.

If the Beavers' players wanted to celebrate their 1960 win by downing a gallon of milk, like all college kids do, it would have cost them a whopping $0.49. And they could have sent a letter to their friends detailing the game with a stamp that set them back all of $0.04.

While the winless streak at the Coliseum doesn't mean much to the current players and won't mean anything after the opening kickoff, it is an amazing run of dominance by the Trojans at the Coliseum.

And under Pete Carroll, the Men of Troy have had that kind of success against just about every opponent that has made a visit to Los Angeles.

"We have played well there for a long time and I am really proud of that," Carroll said. "It means the world to us."

The Trojans have won 46 of their last 47 home games with their last loss coming over two years ago.

Carroll didn't have an exact reason for USC's dominance at the Coliseum but said defending your home turf is a must for having sustained success.

"I do know that if you are going to be really successful, and a championship team, you have to dominate at home," he said. "You have to have a long streak and win year after year after year. You cannot do it without that."

This Saturday, the Trojans will look to send yet another Oregon State team out of the Coliseum unhappy.

Havili Out

The USC Trojans will most likely be without one of their top offensive weapons this Saturday when they face the Oregon State Beavers.

Fullback Stanley Havili hasn't participated in practice this week after injuring his shoulder in USC's 34-27 victory over Notre Dame.

Carroll said after Thursday's practice that he doesn't expect Havili to be available this weekend.

"He doesn't look like he is going to make it," Carroll said. "He couldn't do anything today."

Havili is currently tied for second on the team with 14 receptions for 207 yards.

Sophomore D.J. Shoemate is in line to start in place of Havili at fullback.

Hot Reads

- Marc Tyler, Hebron Fangupo, Luthur Brown, Marshall Jones, David Ausberry and Stanley Havili were among the players that didn't participate in practice on Thursday.

- Wide receiver David Ausberry, who strained his calf during Wednesday's practice, is doubtful for Saturday's game.

"He's not looking to good," Carroll said. "He has a calf strain that is still bothering him and he's still hobbling. We will have to see."

If Ausberry is unable to play, Brice Butler, Travon Patterson and Brandon Carswell could all see extended playing time.

- Safety Josh Pinkard missed part of Wednesday's practice with a sore foot but returned to action today and will start against Oregon State.

- Defensive tackle Christian Tupou will play on Saturday but most likely will come of off the bench.

"He did enough through practice that he is going to play," Carroll said. "It will probably be like last week and bring him off the bench."

With Tupou banged up Armond Armstead will remain at the three-technique.

- Carroll said that wide receiver Ronald Johnson had a very good week of practice and will start against Oregon State.

"He had a really good week. He really needed a week to get back to full-speed," Carroll said. "As much as he was frustrated that he couldn't do more in the game, it was just part of the process of getting him back.

"He's healthy and feeling good. We are expecting him to be right in the middle of it."

- While the USC defense will key on stopping Jacquizz Rodgers on the ground, they will also have to be aware of the multi-talented back in passing situations.

"If you look at their numbers, Jacquizz is the guy that has a bunch of catches," Carroll said. "He and his brother are way out there, so they are the guys, run and pass, that you have take care of.

"We are going to try to cover the whole family if we can."

- The Oregon State Beavers are one of the only teams in the country to have success against Pete Carroll and the USC Trojans lately, winning two of the last three meetings. And the Beavers have proven to be even tougher coming off of a bye week. Mike Riley's teams have won seven straight games following a bye week.

- Stafon Johnson's mother, Kim Mallory, stopped by Howard Jones Field to watch practice today.


Fullback Stanley Havili will likely miss Saturday's game against Oregon State.


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



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