USC went through their last practice in pads before the home opener against Virginia.
- Here are tonight's practice photos shot by yours truly.
- Lane Kiffin was underwhelmed by the team's energy level and attention to detail citing dropped passed and missed assignments.
- Dillon Baxter will be in the spotlight Saturday night, but Kiffin has a real simple goal, "Dillon needs to take care of the ball." If you watched Hard Knocks last night, you got an idea how seriously coaches take ball security. As an excited freshman, Kiffin wants Baxter's focus on the little things.
- On the injury front, CB Shareece Wright disputed my claim that the hard cast on his thumb would hamper his ability to intercept passes. "I got my fingers still. I don't need the thumb," Wright said after practice. "It's just a thumb that is not going to move, so it's easier to catch."
- If you missed the Virginia scouting report (scroll down), Ronald Johnson will have the opportunity to go one-on-one with top NFL prospect CB Ras-I Dowling. "It's a great opportunity," Johnson said of going against Dowling. "I know he's a great player." RoJo changed his number in the offseason to the more NFL friendly #83, so he realizes the draft implications a matchup like this could have.
- Johnson is one of the only current Trojans who contributed in the blowout win at Virginia in 2008. "Good memories," Johnson recounted. "My first touchdown, a deep one from Mark Sanchez and it felt great."
- RoJo does not feel the pressure to back up his 4 TD performance at Hawaii. "My thing is to go out and have fun. No matter what happens, God be with me and just go out and have fun."
- On the other side, freshman WR Robert Woods wants to improve on his stellar debut. "Routes and just getting more physical," Woods said. "I've got to make sure I get my blocks down and my routes have to be more fluid and quicker."
- The rookie was not nervous against the Warriors, but he'll be playing in front of 14 friends and family at the Coliseum (not to mention about 90,000 fans). "It's going to feel good. This is where we grew up our whole life. This is our NFL team. It's going to feel like I'm playing at home again."
- The Trojans will have a short, no pads practice Friday followed by the traditional "Jock Rally." They'll depart for the hotel to make final preparations at 5:30 pm.