Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor
The Trojans were fired up to get back to work Sunday after a day off Saturday to prepare for the Arizona Wildcats in the first Thursday night game ever in the Coliseum.
- Silas Redd looked more than 100 percent as the senior running back took multiple snaps in today's practice in preparation for his first start of the 2013 season. Redd stated that everything felt "strong" and that there was no doubt in his mind on whether he would be playing on Thursday. In terms of splitting time with Tre Madden and Justin Davis, Redd confidently stated, "I'm not trying to be cocky but I just don't think I can be left off the field." However, he also praised the young running backs' talent saying, "Our depth at running back is unbelievable."
- In reference to the obstacles he's faced in his college career, the running back added, "God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers." Redd transferred to USC after the Sandusky scandal at Penn State left the organization with serious sanctions, and he has now missed the entire 2013 season so far due to off-season surgery.
- Regarding the other injuries, Coach O told the media that wide receiver Marqise Lee is questionable and that it continues to be day-by-day. Silas Redd, Justin Davis, and De'Von Flournoy are all probable while Morgan Breslin, Darreus Rogers, and Anthony Brown are all questionable. D.J. Morgan remains out with a knee injury.
- The biggest focus of practice today was on preparing for an Arizona defense that ranks 29th in total defense. Coach O was especially concerned with Arizona's ability to force turnovers as the Wildcats boast an impressive +5 turnover ratio. This concern comes in the wake of a game against Arizona State where the Trojans turned the ball over four times resulting in 20 points for the Sun Devils.
- "It's going to be about us executing our offense and doing what we need to do," said the head coach. "Obviously, it's going to be the first time that Clay is going to be calling plays so I want him to feel comfortable and be able to call the plays he seems fit." When it comes down to it, Coach O said that all the Trojans need to do to fix the offense is to play "good, simple football."
- One noticeable change in the Orgeron era as head coach is that quarterbacks no longer wear the different yellow jerseys in practice to protect them from accidentally getting hit by one of their teammates. Coach O said this was because the Trojans are "one team, one heartbeat" and the last time he checked our colors were cardinal and gold. Starting quarterback Cody Kessler said, "That's what's awesome about Coach O. He can take something as simple as the color of your uniform and make it all about the team."
Three more days of hard, physical practices and then it's game time Thursday night in the coliseum! Here's head coach Ed Orgeron after today's practice...