Practice has value. It has even more value when it ends up being tougher than the actual game. Former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley wants intensity, change has to come.
As fall camp came to a close on Aug. 20 and its now two weeks before week one, the intensity experienced throughout the offseason since Riley arrived needs to be maintained, according to him.
“A big thing we’re pushing on the guys right now is: the game week practices are not a ‘save it up and gear up for the game,” Riley said. “We intend to practice out here, especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the way we expect to play on Saturdays.”
This focus on intensity has todo with the change in culture Riley’s trying to expedite. One of the ways he’s done it is by successfully recruiting “his guys”. Former Oklahoma players who believe and preach his messages to their new teammates/Riley’s new players.
Riley doesn’t want being punked and pushed around by opponents to remain the norm. For the longest time now, other than the Trojan Rose Bowl win back in 2015, USC has embodied and gotten a reputation for being flashy, but not tough.
It became okay to not just lose, but lose in embarrassing fashion. Winning programs and cultures don’t win every game, but they don’t get humiliated.
Typical Week of Practice
“This is not a, ‘conserve and survive and just make it to Saturday’,” Riley said. “We expect these practices to be intense, physical. We’re going to push them mentally. And I thought they responded pretty good.”
He added how game results should be received. If the Trojans win, then practice throughout the week went well. If they lose, practice must have gone poorly.
As Riley’s been saying,”You play like you practice.” The season starts with a home opener on September 3rd against Rice University.
Make sure to continue following USC here at Gridiron Heroics, here is an article on the top five rated USC Trojans in Madden 23.
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