Friday Practice Report

Joe McKnight

An otherwise quiet Friday on the USC campus was shaken up by the L.A. Times report that starting tailback Joe McKnight was being investigated by the school for driving an SUV that was owned by a Santa Monica businessman. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Friday's practice.

An otherwise quiet Friday on the USC campus was shaken up by the L.A. Times report that starting tailback Joe McKnight was being investigated by USC for driving an SUV that was owned by a Santa Monica businessman.

According to the report, Joe McKnight has been driving a 2006 Land Rover around for weeks that is registered to Scott Schenter.

McKnight acknowledged riding in the SUV but said he has never driven the car himself. He went on to say that his girlfriend works as a secretary for Schenter and that the Land Rover is, "my baby mama's boss'. "

USC head coach Pete Carroll was asked about the report after Friday's practice, and said he was aware of it, but hasn't read the story. Carroll did say that the compliance office was already reviewing the matter.

"I am aware of it. I haven't read it and all that it says," Carroll said. "What I do know and what I can say to is that compliance has this in full review and so we will have to wait and see what happens with that. I don't know anything more than that.

"I haven't read the article yet. I don't even know what's in there."

If McKnight is found to be in violation of NCAA rules it could affect his athletic eligibility. The junior from Louisiana is eligible to declare for the NFL draft but had previously stated that he planned to return to USC for his senior season. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15th.

McKnight was not made available to the media on Friday.

Overachieving Eagles

The Boston College Eagles, led by first-year head coach Frank Spaziani, enter the Emerald Bowl matchup against USC with an 8-4 record, and a good deal of optimism after overachieving throughout the 2009 season.

Spaziani, who served as the Eagles defensive coordinator since 1999, took over as the head coach after Jeff Jagodzinski was fired after he interviewed with the New York Jets.

Spaziani inherited a fairly inexperienced squad that was picked by the media in the preseason to finish at the bottom of the ACC Atlantic Division and surprised many by putting together an 8-win season and a trip to the Emerald Bowl.

While a bowl appearance may not have been expected this season, the Eagles are no strangers to post-season play, as they are making their 11th straight bowl appearance, and have a streak of nine-straight eight-win seasons under their belt.

"They have been successful for such a long time, so consistently winning games leads me to know that they have a really good sense of themselves and a good feeling about their program," Pete Carroll said.

The Eagles aren't a flashy team that will catch your eye with gimmicky offense; they are a very fundamentally sound team that plays a very physical brand of football.

"The thing with Spaziani that works at BC is he is an old school football coach," Bill Reilly of EaglesInsider.com said. "He is not going to try anything too fancy or get caught up in fads. He expects the kids to work hard and execute. Fundamentals are the focus.

As Pete Carroll explained this week, "They're not gonna try and trick you, they're going to try and knock your jock off."

Hot Reads

- Allen Bradford, who banged his knee during a 9-on-7 drill yesterday, was held out of practice today. Bradford said he expects to participate in practice on Monday.

- Senior cornerback Kevin Thomas was also held out of practice after jamming his ankle during yesterday's practice.

"He just jammed his ankle a little bit yesterday and it was kind of a little stiff today, so they thought it would be better to not aggravate it," Carroll said. He doesn't have a sprained ankle, it was just sore. He should be fine."

- Carroll said the Trojans' game plan for their Dec.26th matchup with the Boston College Eagles has been completely installed and they will hold their last on-campus practice Monday morning before boarding a plane for San Francisco.

"The preparation has gone well and the practices have been very strong," Carroll said. "We are in good shape for going into this break. We will kick it off with a heckuva a week, I hope, up there."

- Linebacker Jordan Campbell has been simulating Boston College tailback Montel Harris in practice this week.

"Just to make sure that we got a good, active guy running the football," Carroll said. "He was working real hard, so we just let him keep doing it."


USC cornerback Kevin Thomas missed practice with a "jammed" ankle.


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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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