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August 28, 2008
Practice Insider: Trojans ready for action
They've been beaten down. They've run; they've sweat.
The players on the Trojan football team have watched film, they've learned their playbook and they've scouted Virginia.
And when practice ended Thursday morning at Howard Jones Field, most guys on the team celebrated a little.
Now, it's time to go get a win.
"It feels like it's time to play," senior defensive end Kyle Moore said. "It's time for us to go out there and do what we've been planning on doing.
"It's been a long month."
The August workouts have agitated the Trojans to the perfect level, and Moore said, the team's ready to unleash.
"It's time to let this energy out on someone who isn't my teammate," Moore said. "It's like shaking a bottle, and keeping it all in. As soon as we get there, it's going to pop.
"We'll be everywhere. I can't wait for that."
USC head coach Pete Carroll said he loves the enthusiasm his team is showing, but the coaches need to be ready to haul the players back in.
"We're watching them very carefully," Carroll said. "We're paying attention to each individual kid, to see how they're handling all of this, to see if they're too giddy. We're here to help guide them through the process.
"We want them to be excited; that's a part of it. But, we have to have our poise."
Still, players like Allen Bradford are ready for that first crack of the pads.
"I can't even explain how I'm feeling," he said. "All I know is that when I get out there, I'm going to try and make something happen."
The Trojans head into their season opener at Virginia almost at 100 percent.
Ronald Johnson is battling a minor illness, suffering some dizziness and a sore throat, but he said adrenaline would carry him on Saturday.
It's just been too long of a wait to sit out.
"I can't wait to till Saturday," Johnson said.
Healthy, loose, and ready - that's how Carroll's Trojans look and feel.
"Everything worked out just right," he said. "We had great preparation like we wanted to."
• The offense spent time going over clock plays, rushing up to the line, getting set and spiking the ball.
• The defense went over some last-minute things concerning the Virginia offense.
• David Buehler did practice, but he's been resting his leg. Buehler said his leg feels much stronger after a few days off.
• The team boarded busses at 12:30 p.m. and headed to the airport.