Quoting Carroll: Season Opener Edition

Pete Carroll

The 2009 USC Trojans will take the field for the first time today to face the San Jose State Spartans. Look inside to see what USC head coach Pete Carroll has to say about the season opener, San Jose State and much more.

Carroll on getting the season started:

"It's great to finally get here with the opportunity to start the season. We've been waiting. And it takes so long to get to this point, and so much anticipation and so much hard work and all of that and all of a sudden it's just upon you and we're ready to go.

"We've had a very good camp. It's gone well for our whole program. We've had transition in a couple of areas and the coaching and the players and things that we've had to get through. We feel very comfortable with the transitions that we've made. The decisions that we've made for people that are going to play and across the board right now. And we're going to get off to a great start."

Carroll on when he knew Barkley wasn't like other freshman QB's:

"It happened in the springtime. It was after practice five in the springtime, I just couldn't believe he had come so far so quickly. I remember walking off the field talking to one of the coaches: He's five days old, and look what he just did. We were just kind of shaking our heads. And he hasn't stopped. He's been very, very comfortable.

"It's not just calling plays, it's not just throwing, it's not just communicating with the coaches. It's being able to relate with your teammate as well and have them have a feel for you. I think that's taken place already. I think our guys are going to fight like crazy to protect him and give him a chance to do well and support him knowing that he's the trigger guy. They've got to do that to help him be successful."

Carroll on which true freshmen will play against San Jose State:

"Devon Kennard for sure and Jarvis Jones for sure. Those guys are playing. Jarvis will be in the rotations in the first-quarter, I would bet. I think he will play in the game right away. He has done a great job and he is a tough, hard-nosed hitter and we like that."

Pete Carroll on the San Jose State Spartans:

"I expect a great game from them. They're experienced in their system. They know what they're doing. The quarterback is back. The running back is back. Their best receiver, their o-line is back. That's the strength of their team.

"They have a very good team, and they know that. We expect them to play really good, and we expect everybody to play their best.

"I don't know why we would think anybody would be intimidated. For the most part, teams come in here and play like crazy and go for it. I'm sure his team will too."

Carroll on San Jose State coach Dick Tomey:

"I think it's interesting for us to go against San Jose State, in that Coach Tomey has been an extremely successful football coach. He's a guy I've known for years. Studied under him when I was a GA years and years ago, and watched him have success in all different kinds of settings.

"But what he's done is he's assembled a tremendous staff. His coordinator, Keith Burns and Steve Morton and those guys have been here. Kent Baer's on that staff and Ken Margerum, a bunch of really good coaches. And you can tell in the way they go about their game and the way they scheme that they have great expertise and background."

Carroll on USC's talented secondary:

"So we're expecting a lot of great things out of the secondary with Josh Pinkard and Will Harris and Kevin Thomas. They're to support Taylor Mays, one of the best players we've had here since we've been here, on free safety. That is one of the strongest groups of our team.

"Josh had a great year in the corner. In transitioning to go back to corner, he's excited about it and ready to take over. So we feel good about that. Few new guys up front on the defensive side, but everybody for the most part has played. So we're excited about it, and we think we have a good opportunity to do some good stuff."


Pete Carroll is looking to guide the Trojans' to an eighth straight BCS bowl in '09.


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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com


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