Thursday, December 20, 2012
Another strong practice for Trojans
By Johnny Curren
The Trojans hit Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field on Wednesday for a rare evening practice that once again drew rave reviews from USC coach Lane Kiffin as the team has put together a string of five impressive post-season workouts in a row now.
It's been a challenge for the Trojans to simulate dynamic Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington in practice.
“Through five practices, especially the last three, this is the best they’ve been,” Kiffin said. “I hope a lot of that has to do with what we talked about … to stop living in the past, and to stop talking about what we could have done different on this play, and this guy could have caught this, this guy could have made this tackle and our record would be this … so we don’t even like going back and talking about that stuff, because we can’t change it no matter what happens. We are 7-5. We have to accept that. So let’s move forward and finish really strong, get back out playing football and then have a good time doing it.”
Later practices in 2013? There has been an extra bounce in the Trojans’ step over the past three practices that Kiffin has acknowledged, something that could be due to the team’s recent time off. But perhaps it’s also worth noting that all three of those workouts have had later start times than the typical practice during the year.
And while Kiffin is quick to note that early practices are no excuse for the team’s performance in 2012, he did admit on Wednesday he is exploring with the idea of moving them from the morning, when they’re held now, to the late afternoon next season.
“There’s been a lot of thought put into the afternoon practices like the previous format, so we’ll look at it after the season,” Kiffin said. “That’s got nothing to do with being 7-5. We practiced the same way when we were 10-2, so I think it’s just looking at the overall energy sometimes. Those days are rough, you know, when kids are getting up at 5 a.m. There’s a lot of good things to it. So we’ll look at it.”
Defense gets up-close look at Yellow Jackets’ offense The Trojans began installing their game plan for the team’s matchup with Georgia Tech on Wednesday, giving the USC defense its first real taste of what it will be like to go up against the Yellow Jackets’ vaunted triple-option offense. With walk-on senior tailback Robert Mojica playing the part of Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington, the Trojans’ scout-team offense did its best to give the USC first-teamers an accurate look.
“It was interesting,” Kiffin said. “I’m glad we have a lot of time. I don’t know how people do it in one week. The hardest thing is to get the service team to do it right -- much like when we played Oregon -- more than how you actually play everything. So it was a little bit of a growing process today, but we’ll keep going.”
Additional Notes: Kiffin said sophomore running back Tre Madden, who suffered a torn knee ligament last April and has missed the entire season, is on track to participate in spring practice.
The team will take part in a number pre-bowl activities before it leaves for El Paso, including a “premier movie night” tomorrow, as well as dinner later in the week at Kiffin’s house followed by a trip to a Clippers game.