Trojans address their problems

first_imgLOS ANGELES — When you are ranked No. 1, you can’t have too many problems, but USC called a players-only meeting this week and coach Pete Carroll also held a separate meeting to address some bothersome issues. Carroll told the Trojans to look more like a team and less like individuals and be more humble the rest of the season. He stressed that teams won’t “bow down” to USC. – Tailback Reggie Bush said he told his teammates he was sorry for intentionally slowing down near the end of a touchdown run that resulted in him nearly getting tackled. “That on my part wasn’t good leadership,” Bush said. “I got caught up in frustration that the offense wasn’t clicking. I tried to make a statement. I apologized to the team.” Bush also said he didn’t think he pushed quarterback Matt Leinart that hard into the end zone. It’s illegal to push another player. “It was the greatest quarterback sneak ever. Everybody else says it was illegal but it was quick. I don’t know people keep talking about it after. “After (Leinart) rolled to the left, I pushed him from the side. If I got behind him, maybe they would have called something.” He remains hampered by a sore knee suffered against Arizona. “That’s going to bother me awhile because of the bruise,” Bush said. “I just rested it. That (Notre Dame) game was exhausting. I just tried to rest up for the weekend.” – Linebacker Rey Maualuga and cornerback Josh Pinkard appear to be the frontrunners to be the gunners on the punt team, the players who line up at the wide receiver spot and race down the field when the ball is snapped. Other candidates include wide receiver Patrick Turner and safety Darnell Bing, as USC tries to shore up its punt coverage. In another change, linebacker Collin Ashton replaced Dale Thompson at left guard on punts. – Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis complained that USC didn’t receive a penalty when Trojans assistant coach Brennan Carroll tried to call a timeout with no timeouts remaining and because Carroll was at the 5-yard line. “I was a little bit more disappointed by the fact that they had a coach out of the box down on the 5-yard line calling time out when they have no timeouts left,” Weis said. “If you want a gripe, that’s a gripe. Now that’s a penalty and that alone puts them out of touchdown scoring range and to field-goal range.” — Scott Wolf can be reached at (818) 713-3607. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It was just a meeting to give an opportunity to guys who don’t express themselves normally,” Walker said. “On the plane coming home from Notre Dame, I felt we should have a meeting to come to terms with the sense of togetherness we all felt. “After that game, I heard us all say we loved each other and there was a genuine sense of brotherhood. I had tears in my eyes.” Matua also spoke. “We don’t want to get overwhelmed by what just happened,” he said. “We have a whole second half of the season to worry about.” – Carroll was upset USC practiced on Cromwell Field on Tuesday, which has FieldTurf, because its regular practice field is not ready after workers botched putting in new sod last weekend. The field was supposed to be ready Tuesday, but a worker wasn’t sure when it would be available and the recent rain didn’t help. “There’s a crisis right now,” said a field worker. “It might (not) be ready (today) either.” center_img Carroll wants the players to stop wearing different hats and T-shirts on road trips. And Carroll told offensive guard Fred Matua to tone down his antics. Matua is one of the most emotional players on the team. Separately, cornerback John Walker and a few other players called a team meeting because of the emotional victory over Notre Dame. last_img

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