Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
In the midst of the Trojans’ best practice of Fall Camp, Lane Kiffin called a major audible to conclude the grueling two-a-day campaign: he called for the team-favorite goal line stand drill.
It begins with the playing of AC/DC’s classic “Hells Bells”–like a classic thriller reaching its climax– leading to a raucous swirl of excitement from players on both sides of the ball. With most of the starting players standing on the sideline, jumping excitedly over every result, a bevy of talent collided at the three-yard line for a spirited final drill of practice.
“It’s not about the ones, twos, threes, quarterback, or offensive line; its about this whole team,” said junior center Marcus Martin. “And to see the third string go down there and compete at the end of practice, after about 100 or so snaps, is awesome to see.”
“We were really pumped for it today,” said senior tackle Kevin Graf. “We came out with a lot of energy. It wasn’t just goal line, it was throughout the whole day.”
The play calling was simple on Monday: pound the rock until someone on the defensive side put up a major fight. Jahleel Pinner and Buck Allen carried a bulk of the responsibility in the 10-play series, rushing all but two times against the blood-hungry defense.
It all started from the opening snap with a first rush right into the teeth of the defense for a statement touchdown, even garnering a precise measurement from Assistant Coach John Baxter to dispel any displeasure with the official decision.
Once the dust settled, the offense left the field the winner but more importantly, the entire team was hyped up for another night of treatment and film study before the start of the next practice.
We are upset, but we have to put the play behind us and move on to the next play,” said sophomore cornerback Kevon Seymour.
While not as gory nor realistic as the song itself, the goal-line stands pumps up players from both sides of the ball like no other. The energy around the RF line of Dedeaux Field line was infectious and certainly commendable after two-and-a-half hours of grueling practice.
For players like John Akiba, Michael Hutchings, Rob Dooley, Robby Kolanz and many more, moments of fame can be made in a drill that looks so simple, yet requires an intense focus and dedication. Preaching a team-first mentality throughout Fall Camp, the Trojans recent “Brotherhood” tactic is just another weapon in the arsenal for Lane Kiffin’s wily bunch.