The Trojans were in shells today with a lot of emphasis on the passing game, particular one-on-one match-ups between receivers and defensive backs, and third down situations.
“On the third down work today we had the coaches stay away,” Clay Helton said. “We wanted to see who got lined up right on their own, just let them play to see which guys knew what they were doing without coaching them up.”
In a one-on-one WR vs DB drill, things got started in favor of the defense when Trevon Sidney juggled a ball on a slant and while the ball was in the air Marvell Tell snatched it for the pick. On the next play Devon Williams also juggled the ball and Greg Johnson reached in for the pick. Tyler Vaughns beat Iman Marshall on a slant for the catch. Pie Young got good body position on Isaiah Pola-Mao for the reception. Velus Jones got deep on Ajene Harris for the reception. Isaiah Langley read the ball well to get an interception intended for Devon Williams. Trevon Sidney ran a deep route but C.J. Pollard looked back and batted the ball away easily. Tremendous play by Randal Grimes to keep his body between Greg Johnson and the ball to make a one-handed grab.
In punt return drills we saw Amon-Ra St. Brown, Ajene Harris and Tyler Vaughns.
In the 11-on-11 third down drill Matt Fink got things going with a completion to Vaughns vs Greg Johnson. Fink then scrambled right and hit Vaughns again, and on the next play he went to Tyler again and the slant went for 8 yards. On the next play Fink hit Grimes coming across the middle, it was a good day for Grimes, his best of fall camp. Malik Dorton had a sack on Sears. Sears tried a screen to Carr but Juliano Falaniko batted it away in coverage. Sears threw to Amon-Ra, the ball bounced in the air against coverage from Olaijah Griffin but St. Brown came down with it. Sears tried to go to Devon Williams over the middle but a hard pop from Tell forced the incompletion. Sears went high to Vaughns against Ajene for the completion. Daniels came in and his first pass was a screen to Carr. Daniels was under pressure and threw the ball away. Daniels to Velus on a crossing route. Daniels picked by Jonathan Lockett, must have been a miscommunication because there wasn’t a receiver around. John Houston had a sack on Daniels.
During the last drill the Trojan Marching Band entered the field and serenaded the team from the end zone with all the USC classics.
Injury update: Austin Jackson was able to return and get a lot of work. Jake Lichtenstein is looking like he will come back next week. Andrew Vorhees is also looking like a return next week. Daniel Imatorbhebhe, there is no target date for his return. Oluwole Betiku is going to be longer than a couple weeks, he hasn’t redshirted yet so he may be one of those guys who could get some games this year and still redshirt. We pulled Clayton Bradley with a back issue.
Porter Gustin one-week post surgery update: “Porter is one of our hardest workers and he’s that way attacking his rehab, it’s going well,” Helton said.
In attendance: John Mazur (USC QB, early 80’s), Scott Lockwood (USC TB, late 80’s)
Talking Running Backs
Clay Helton on the group “I love the attitude that they brought in full pads. You’ve got the really tough runners in Ced and Vae, and then you’ve got the home run hitter in Stephen. And they can all catch. That three-man pod is going to come through for us. Ced is in the best shape of his life at 215 pounds. To see he and Vavae breaking tackles and getting to the second level, I showed the team a clip of Ced today to celebrate his effort.”
Tee on Ced Ware “He’s having the best camp of his career. He’s always been steady but you’re seeing his hard work start to pay off. He’s making big, explosive long runs, he’s catching the ball great and he’s protecting the passer. That’s one area of his game that’s underappreciated, he’s a really good pass protector.
Drevno on Vavae “Vae has such football savvy, such a smart football player. We’ve got the kind of running back room where the guys can discuss things amongst themselves to figure it out and Vae is the leader of that”