September 14, 2009

Practice Insider: Trojans looking forward

When the Trojans were preparing to face San Jose State for the season opener, Pete Carroll said his team would not be looking forward to Ohio State. Despite a dramatic touchdown-scoring drive to secure a big non-conference victory, Carroll and the Trojans are not looking back at Ohio State either.

It's a lesson they've learned before.

"Last year we went up to Oregon State and we didn't play very well after the Ohio State game," Carroll said. "I told the guys the whole story, that I had seen it coming in the spring of the year before and we still didn't perform like we were capable of. This time around it's real important to me, and I'm not skirting around the issues. I'm just telling them straight up what my concerns are."

The memories of last year's loss that derailed their national championship hopes make Carroll's message resonate even louder with his players.

"We have to take Saturday as a loss and know how hungry we were on that last drive," Stafon Johnson said. "That's how we have to be for the rest of the season."

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