by Pete Arbogast, the voice of the Trojans:
I took in my final pre-game day practice today. It was a good, tough and competitive practice from all I could see. The coaches and players I spoke with concurred.
Our supposed starting tight end, Taylor McNamara, the transfer from Oklahoma hit the trainer’s table early—light headedness it is said.
Looks like Chad Wheeler has won the starting spot on the left side of the OL, making Toa Lobendahn the wild card. You might very well see him line up at tight end from time to time as an extra blocker. Just a hunch.
Tre Madden and the three freshmen will carry the ball Saturday against Arkansas State, a team that can score points in bushels but seems a bit impotent to stop anyone on the other side. They generally play big name teams during their season along with the Sunbelt schedule, and when they do, they generally hang around with them. Tell you this: if SC wins 55-10 Saturday, and not 42-24, it means we are pretty darn good.
Looks like Jalen Greene has fallen back a bit after starting the summer so well. I’ll be curious to see how he works out and how much he plays.
With Lamar Dawson a doubtful for Saturday, it will give us a real look at TF Cameron Smith (photo above) at inside backer. He’s been very impressive in camp.
One thing almost for certain: we will see a great many very young players cutting their teeth in this one and probably the next one against Idaho before any “decisions” are made.
Sark sounded happy with today’s effort in his after practice, and no one is talking about the incident two weeks ago.
No one except talk show talking heads and writers and columnists trying to find creative ways to get people to listen or read them.
Now that it’s settled down, I think the best thing I take away from it was this: it has turned into a great and wonderful opportunity for young people to see an adult struggle with a problem and a setback in a positive way.
It’s a shame that others see it differently. I see a man who made a mistake and is owning up to it and taking steps in his life to assure that it will not happen again.
Apology accepted, and good luck to him. We should all offer whatever help we can towards that end.
During practice, we had our first Trojan Radio Network staff conference call to discuss our pre-pre and pre game shows, game broadcast, halftime and post game shows. All hands on deck but for one that I could tell, but on a conference call, sometimes you miss someone checking in.
Everyone seems very knowledgeable and fired up and read to go, almost like we, too were in late-season form.
You can tune in four hours before kickoff for the opening of the day from the Coliseum….don’t forget to bring your little radios to the game to listen to the broadcast in the stands, if that is part of your normal game day experience.
All that’s left is two more days of practice, following which I will sit down with Sark for our pre-game chat, and then it’s off to the press box for game number one. It never gets old.