USC starting nose tackle Antwaun Woods did not participate in Holday Bowl prep on Sunday, as he was held out of practice with a strained pectoral that he suffered Saturday.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian talked to reporters after practice and stated, “[Woods is] getting a test on it and we’ll know more on Wednesday.” The Trojans are taking the next two days off and won’t be back on the field until then.
If Woods is unable to go in the bowl game or is limited, look for Cody Temple, Delvon Simmons and Claude Pelon to inherit some reps. In 12 games this season, Woods has recorded a career-high 37 total tackles, along with one sack.
Other practice notes:
- True freshman linebacker Uchenna Nwosu was sidelined in a boot and had crutches, as tweeted by USCFootball.com’s Keely Eure. Sarkisian did not provide an update but did stress that none of USC’s current injuries are too serious.
- Steven Mitchell got a little dinged up his knee in practice but should be OK. Sarkisian was quick to note that Mitchell is improving as the season progressed, especially in practice. “So much of coming off of injury is not just physical, it’s mental and believing that you’re healthy,” said Sarkisian. “And I think Steven has really improved his practice habits and in turn has improved his game habits.”
- After talking about Mitchell, Sark then went on a bit of a stance about freshmen impact players and noted that Mitchell’s learning curve at USC is extremely normal and expected. He noted that Adoree’ Jackson and JuJu Smith’s play as freshmen are the exception to the rule and told reporters that he never tells recruits that they can play as freshmen, more so that they will have an opportunity to compete. Sarkisian cited USC’s low numbers as a reason for which so many freshmen impact players have had success of late, rather than a promise of early playing time.
- Tre Madden was at practice,to which Sark put some importance on his presence. “This time of year, as you’re coming together in the holiday season as a team going to a bowl game, I think it’s important for [injured players] to be a part of our football team.”