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Holiday Bowl Practice #13: Sarkisian Presser

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The Trojans are ready to rock with just about 48 hours to go until the Holiday Bowl. They finished their final full practice today with only a stadium walk-thru on the docket tomorrow.

Here is head coach Steve Sarkisian's press conference on this Christmas morning with an impromptu 50-yard dash in the background, which WR George Farmer impressively won:


Zoo Trip

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The San Diego Zoo trip provided a Holiday Bowl highlight for the Trojans.


Happy Holidays

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Merry Christmas from the Trojan Family to your family!


Holiday Bowl Practice #12: Notes

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The Trojans practiced at San Diego State this morning before an afternoon trip the zoo.
  • USC is in good health overall, but WR Ajene Harris (hamstring) is doubtful.
  • Head coach Steve Sarkisian was happy with the "transition" from Los Angeles to San Diego thanking both the Holiday Bowl committee and SDSU for making things so easy.
  • While time is surely winding down for the seniors, the draft eligible juniors could also be practicing in Cardinal and Gold for the final time this week. Sarkisian has been impressed with their ability to "compartmentalize" this week and not look ahead to future decisions. The Florida trio (Leonard Williams, Nelson Agholor and Buck Allen) practiced as hard today as ever taking Sarkisian's message to heart that they should "embrace this, enjoy this" week and worry about the NFL after Saturday.
  • Williams is the most obvious candidate to declare early because he is a projected Top 10 pick, but "I don't think it is as cut and dry and as easy for him as people would assume," said Sarkisian. "Leonard loves USC."
  • As for Saturday's opponent, "They throw everything at you," LB Anthony Sarao said about Nebraska's offense. "And they've got explosive players at the skill positions, so it is something to see."
  • The Cornhuskers' star offensive attraction is senior RB Ameer Abdullah who is 12th in the nation in rushing and fifth in all purpose yardage. Sarao praised his "good center of gravity" and explained that the Trojans need a "gang tackle mentality" to get him to the ground.
  • The shorthanded Trojans were wearing down in the final weeks of the season, but their bodies have come back to life after a few weeks rest. "[I] feel fresh out here like it is the first game," said Sarao.
  • Here is Sarkisian after practice...



Senior Tunnel

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The 2014 senior class enjoyed its last practice on Howard Jones Field today.


Drive Down the Five

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The Trojans have arrived in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. The team hotel is situated beautifully between the bay and PetCo Park.

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Holiday Bowl Practice #11: Notes

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The USC senior class enjoyed its final practice on Howard Jones Field and then departed through the annual gauntlet...
  • The Trojans will depart this afternoon for the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. In the final practice on campus, the players swapped jerseys, which can look pretty funny when OG Khaliel Rodgers (315 pounds) is trying to wear Nelson Agholor's (190 pounds) No. 15 and vice versa.
  • Defensively, Nebraska poses a formidable challenge up front led by 6-foot-6 defensive end Randy Gregory. "He's really good," Sarkisian stated plainly about the projected NFL Top 10 pick. "His explosiveness for a guy that is that tall makes him a challenge."
  • USC QB Cody Kessler has used the extra time in bowl prep to watch extensive Nebraska game film, and he sees an elite pass rush. "They pride themselves on their front seven," he said. "They are going to pin their ears back and come after me."
  • The young USC offensive line is ready for the challenge having grown and gelled throughout the season. "They're starting to fix their own problems," said OL coach Tim Drevno. "That's when you feel like an offensive line is really progressing nicely."
  • While all eyes are on the juniors debating whether or not to declare for the NFL Draft, freshman OL Damien Mama also has an offseason decision to make about serving his Mormon mission. "I plan to do that after the season, sit down and just visit with him at length and see where he wants to go with that," said Drevno about Mama's future plans. "We respect his decision with his family and his religion."
  • Kessler called the Holiday Bowl "one of the Top 10 bowls in the country," so the team is excited to get down to San Diego, where the itinerary is packed with practices, activities and meals. We'll have it all covered on the RipsIt Blog.
  • Here is Sarkisian's morning press conference:


2014 NFL Week 16

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The Best

Clay Matthews, OLB, Packers - 6 tackles (4 solo) including 2.5 sacks

Matthews.jpgMatthews is enjoying another stellar season in Green Bay as he continues to build a potential Hall of Fame resume. He has 10 sacks on the season putting him in double digits for four of his six NFL campaigns. In a dominating defensive performance against the Bucs on Sunday, he had three tackles-for-loss and a pass defended. Thanks in large part to Matthews, the Packers are headed back to the playoffs and considered Super Bowl contenders. Matthews already won a ring in Green Bay back in 2010.

Best of the Rest

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - Team-leading 11 tackles (9 solo) and a sack

Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns - 3 catches for 88 yards and a TD

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 7 catches for 52 yards and a TD

Mark Sanchez, QB, Eagles - 37/50 for 374 yards and 2 TDs plus 5 carries for 22 yards

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - 10 tackles (6 solo)

Taylor Mays, S, Bengals - First career sack

Rhett Ellison, FB, Vikings - 2 catches for 47 yards

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 4 catches for 65 yards

Pete Carroll, Head Coach, Seahawks - 13-1 in night games with Seattle

Perfect 10

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USC men's basketball freshman Elijah Stewart evoked memories of Taj Gibson Sunday by going 10/10 from the field in a huge road win at Boston College.  Stewart, who was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, keyed the 75-71 victory with his career-high 22 points tying Gibson's school record for the most makes in a game without a miss, which he set in an NCAA Tournament victory over the Eagles.

Click here for the recap.

Stewart's previous career-high was 11 points, and he had that mark eclipsed by halftime. He played a season-high 36 minutes making two three-pointers and contributing four rebounds and two blocks.

Here are the highlights:


Keck Sports Medicine Spotlight: ACL Injury

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Written by Dr. Seth Gamradt

Dr. Seth Gamradt is a specialist in the field of orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine at the Keck Medical Center of USC. Dr. Gamradt is the Director of Orthopaedic Athletic Medicine for USC Athletics.


Here is the first installment in our new series profiling common athletic injuries as written by our elite team of medical professionals:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

Thumbnail image for Figure1.pngIntroduction

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a main stabilizing ligament of the knee. It prevents abnormal translation and rotation of the tibia with respect to the femur. The ACL is commonly torn during athletics in sports involving cutting or pivoting (e.g. basketball, soccer, football), but also can be torn in any event that causes an undue rotational force to the knee (twisting injury, collision sports, falls, skiing).

Diagnosis

An ACL tear is suspected when an athlete twists the knee and feels a 'pop' in the knee. While the tear can often be diagnosed by using physical exam findings of laxity in the knee, imaging studies are ordered. X-rays are taken to rule out fracture and malalignment of the knee. An MRI is ordered to confirm the ACL tear but also to evaluate the other ligaments in the knee, cartilage and meniscus.

Treatment

Most tears to the ACL are complete ruptures of the ligament at its midpoint. The intra-articular liquid environment of the knee is a poor environment for ligament healing and therefore tears of the ACL do not heal on their own. Athletes wishing to continue their athletic career will need an ACL reconstruction surgery.

Surgery to 'fix' the ACL is a reconstruction (ligament replacement) rather than a repair of the ligament. A reconstruction of the ligament involves placing a graft across the anatomic site of the normal ACL that runs from the tibia to the femur. A small tunnel is drilled in each bone and a new ligament (the 'graft') is brought into the tunnel and is fixed with screws in the anatomic position of the ACL. The operation is performed through small incisions with the aid of an arthroscopic camera within the knee.

Figure 3.pngRecovery

Rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction is lengthy. In general it follows the timeline below, although there are certain patients who progress more quickly or more slowly.
  • 0-3 weeks: Crutches, brace, range of motion as tolerated, gentle quad strengthening
  • 3-8 weeks: Restore full range of motion, decrease swelling, improve strength, normalize walking
  • 8-16 weeks: Extensive strengthening of the leg
  • 16-18 weeks: Jogging on flat ground permitted, continue strengthening
  • 20-24 weeks: Agility drills added, sport specific training
  • 7-9 months: Return to sport allowed provided range of motion and strength are close to normal.

USC student-athletes recover under the guidance of Russ Romano, ATC head athletic trainer at USC in the John McKay Center, which houses a state of the art athletic training facility. 

Contact

The Keck Medical School of USC's sports medicine surgeons are the official doctors of USC Athletics. We provide quality care and expert information for both the weekend warrior and the elite athlete. We provide the highest level of care to patients who suffer from athletic injuries or disorders affecting the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, ankle and foot. Our highly experienced sports medicine physicians specialize in recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries related to sport, exercise or recreational activity. Our orthopaedic surgeons ensure that the latest innovative techniques are available for all patients.

Click here for more information on the Keck Center for Sports Medicine. 

Or contact USC Orthopaedic Surgery by phone: 1-800-872-2273