The Trojans finished their final real practice before the season opener.
- Lane Kiffin was much happier today with his team's focus and sharpness. The mental errors from Wednesday's practice were rectified today.
- The head coach was asked for the umpteenth time about dealing with all the hype surrounding this team. "My number one job, especially with the hype around this season and this team, is to make sure that they are ready to play."
- One staple of the Kiffin philosophy is energy conservation before games. This coaching staff takes pride in having the slowest pregame warmups. He expects that Saturday's sold out season opener could lure the players into a frenzy, so the coaches will guard against lost energy.
- (Photo of Matt Barkley and Kiffin by John McGillen)
- LB Simione Vehikite has returned to the team after serving a jail sentence and fulfilling the requirements necessary to regain his spot on the roster. "Simi is back with our team," Kiffin said. "He has been through a lot. While he was not with us, he had a great semester last spring, passed 20 units and is very close to graduating."
- Norm Chow spoke glowingly about USC during an interview on the "Mason and Ireland Show" on ESPN Radio yesterday. "USC is very admirable in their commitment to athletics and their commitment to that university both athletically and academically," said Chow in comparison to UCLA.
- Chow and his wife still live in Manhattan Beach in the offseason. He had two sons graduate from USC.
- Former Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton attended practice today. He was Kiffin's athletic director during his tenure in Knoxville.
- USC will have a walk-thru on Friday, which is closed to the media, so here are your final thoughts from Kiffin before kickoff.