April 1, 2008

Practice Insider: Defense Dominates

On a national day of pranks and laughter, the defense of the University of Southern California football team wasn't joking around. The Trojan defenders came out with an intensity and focus that would rival bowl week, and the offense paid the price with multiple turnovers, a few punishing blows and some choice words back-and-forth.

"The coaches challenge us at every meeting to compete to win and it looks like we were doing that," said cornerback Kevin Thomas. "We play together, but it breaks down to each of us hustling to win the one-on-one battles, when it comes together it looks like that.

"And the defense as a whole looked real good."

Thomas was around the ball all afternoon, picking off two passes and getting his hands on two others.

"First interception I just read the play and sort of took a chance," he said. "Luckily the quarterback threw it when I was baiting him to throw it, and I was able to just jump in front and snag it. The second (interception) was just a little tip.

"You know they got us doing push-ups when we drop a pass, so I had ten pushups on each of the two drops.

"My chest is hurting, man."

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