Feeling the heat: Trojans battle with soaring temperatures during first padded practice of camp
Published 3:00 am Friday, August 5, 2016
After watching his players battling hot and humid temperatures for the third practice of fall camp on Thursday, head coach Neal Brown thought they left plenty to be desired.
“It was our first day in shells, and I was disappointed,” Brown said. “I thought we tried to get through it rather than getting better. We will see how they respond tomorrow. We pushed them pretty hard today.”
The Trojans were on the field for two and a half hours on Thursday, and the coaches pushed the players through drills and competitions between the offense and defense. Near the end of practice several players had to take breathers and escape the heat.
“I am proud of the guys that responded, but we had several that checked out on us,” Brown said. “It probably speaks to our maturity level and where we are at right now.”
And it speaks to the heat.
“It’s hot,” Brown said. “Everyone else in the country is practicing right now. We are playing our first game at 5 p.m. on artificial turf so it’s going to be hot and humid then. We have to be able to function.”
The Trojans have 27 days until their opener against Austin Peay on Sept. 3.
“The good thing is we have a whole bunch of practices left,” Brown said. “We have time but we have to get our unit leaders to step up.
“We have to get tougher mentally and have more discipline. If we don’t do that we will have the same results.”
Brown said a season ago the Trojans didn’t react well to facing adversity.
“We are creating some of our own adversity. I think that is part of coaching,” Brown said. “You want things to be harder in a practice situation than in a game situation, and that is something we are trying to instill here. We want to put them in the toughest situation we can and see how they respond.”
The Trojans will hit the practice field beginning at 2:45 p.m. today, and then on Saturday the Trojans will be in full pads for the first time before taking off Sunday.
The Trojans’ first road game takes them to play Clemson with kickoff beginning at 11:30 a.m., so the Trojans hope to get acclimated to the afternoon sunshine.
“We kickoff in week two at Clemson,” Brown said. “It’s an 11:30 a.m. kickoff. It’s going to be hot so we need to practice in that area. We are going to get after it on full pads on Saturday and then give them a day off.”
The Trojans will play in their first scrimmage of the fall camp at 11 a.m. on Aug.t 13. The Trojans will play their second scrimmage on Aug. 20 at 11 a.m., followed by fan day starting at 2 p.m.