November 12, 2010 |
Motivation won't be a problem for USC on Saturday night against Arizona. Not for Trojans upperclassmen, anyway. Last week, four seniors received invitations to the Senior Bowl, a prestigious evaluation stop on the way to next April's NFL draft. But center Kristofer O'Dowd, fullback Stanley Havili, cornerback Shareece Wright and receiver Ronald Johnson aren't the only Trojans seeking to impress pro scouts over the final four games. With USC facing another bowl-game ban in 2011, draft-eligible juniors and third-year sophomores could be considering moves to the pros.
August 27, 2010 |
Robert Woods came to USC confident that he would play and contribute right away. Turns out, the freshman could be the first Trojan to touch the ball this season when USC plays its opener Thursday at Hawaii. Woods is a starting kick returner and also will start at receiver. And he's one of several players Coach Lane Kiffin and his staff are counting on to play large roles despite their inexperience. Freshman cornerback Nickell Robey will start against Hawaii, and freshman tailback Dillon Baxter might have, had he not violated team rules, drawing a one-game suspension.
September 5, 2010 |
Don't expect any sort of defensive overhaul as USC prepares for its home opener Saturday night against Virginia. Coach Lane Kiffin watched his team give up nearly 600 yards in the Trojans' season-opening victory Thursday at Hawaii. Then he came back to Los Angeles and viewed it all over again, this time in taped detail. "You don't want to jump and make any big conclusions off one game and start changing all the things you believe in," Kiffin said Sunday. Kiffin would like nothing more than for quarterback Matt Barkley , tailback Marc Tyler and the rest of the offense to keep playing the way it did in the 49-36 victory, especially with freshman tailback Dillon Baxter due to make his debut after sitting out the opener because of a suspension.
December 3, 2010 |
If this were a different sort of football season, Rick Neuheisel might not resort to threats. The UCLA coach might not stand before hundreds of students at a pep rally and nag them about showing up for the crosstown rivalry game against USC. "This is one of your classes," he said over loudspeakers earlier this week. "You've got to be at this ballgame. You fail if you don't come. " Neither the Bruins nor the Trojans is ranked and neither is headed to a bowl game. Their annual confrontation Saturday has not exactly captivated a nation.
September 18, 2008 |
USC Coach Pete Carroll reiterated Wednesday he would take a wait-and-see approach regarding Shareece Wright's status in wake of the starting cornerback's legal problems. Wright entered a not-guilty plea through his attorney Wednesday to one felony count of resisting a police officer during a party he attended in his hometown of Colton over Labor Day weekend.
September 3, 2010 |
USC spent much of Friday relaxing in Hawaii, deviating from its usual trip itinerary of flying home immediately after games. But the Trojans' performance in a 49-36 season-opening victory over Hawaii the night before left at least one coach feeling antsy. "We have to go back to work as soon as we can," said Monte Kiffin, USC's assistant head coach for defense. Kiffin's unit gave up 588 yards to Hawaii's offense, but the veteran coach wasn't overly stressed. More than four decades of coaching and overseeing college and NFL defenses has taught him that first-game performances are not necessarily indicative of how teams might develop.
September 5, 2005 |
Colton coaches remember when Allen Bradford made the varsity team as a freshman and a taunt or his own poor play could reduce him to tears. Not anymore. The 6-foot-1, 223-pound senior -- who has explosive speed and makes explosive contact -- is considered among the top outside linebacker prospects in the nation and the top overall prospect in California. "It helped Allen take a long look at the real world....
October 26, 2010 |
Shareece Wright couldn't watch anymore. Sitting at home last Halloween night, ineligible to play, the USC cornerback turned away from the television as Oregon decimated the Trojans' defense. Six months later, Wright again couldn't watch. The NFL draft was unfolding and, having decided to return for a fifth season at USC, he was not a part of it. One cornerback was taken, then another, until five were selected in the first round. Three weeks ago, after USC's defense broke down and gave up a second consecutive game-winning field goal, Wright wanted to shield his eyes yet again.
October 14, 2010 |
Shareece Wright had been holding it in. The senior cornerback, a team captain, wanted to speak up and talk to teammates about the way the Trojans' defense has been playing but did not want to overstep his bounds. On Thursday, with Coach Lane Kiffin's blessing, Wright addressed the entire defense, which is ranked 100th nationally and 116th against the pass. "I needed to take that leadership role," Wright said. "I just told the truth from a player's perspective.
September 24, 2010 |
Shareece Wright would welcome a heavier workload Saturday when No. 20 USC plays Washington State in a Pacific 10 Conference opener at Martin Stadium. The senior cornerback is the most experienced member of USC's young secondary. He was mostly left alone the last two games as Virginia and Minnesota attempted to exploit freshman cornerback Nickell Robey and sophomore safeties Jawanza Starling and T.J. McDonald . "I got a couple throws in the Minnesota game, but that's about it," Wright said.