The Trojans are one day closer to the match-up with Utah but there is still uncertainty as to who will be lining up at the mike inside linebacker spot, as neither Cameron Smith or Palaie Gaoteote has been cleared to play yet.
Smith did a lot of working out on the side on Wednesday in front of trainers, and Coach Helton, but as far as on-field work it was solely Reuben Peters taking reps.
“Tomorrow is a pivotal day for Cameron and Palaie to hopefully get cleared,” Helton said. “As always it will come down to getting cleared and how they feel.”
There is a little more clarity at the OLB spot where it looks like Christian Rector will get the first look, with Hunter Echols also getting some reps in pass rush situations.
“Christian has the experience at the spot but Hunter is slippery and can be productive off the edge,” Helton said. “It gives optimism to know that guys did well last year stepping in for Porter, we have guys who can do that. We want to get Utah dropping those big-bodied offensive linemen into some drop back pass mode.”
The first team defense working against the service team was 56, 51, 44, 89, 10, 47, 24, 27, 15, 7, 8
We saw plenty of WR vs DB 1-on-1 drills. 8 knocked away a pass from 6, 13 caught one against 24, 27 knocked one away from 2 and 9 batted down a pass for 1.
Injury update: Jacob Daniel (knee). We also saw Solomon Tuliaupupu doing wind sprints on the side with the trainers.
In attendance: John Mazur, Thomas Williams
Helton on penalties last week “We got a little handsy on the right side, but there were also some plays I wouldn’t tell a kid to do anything different”