Steve Sarkisian’s first practice as the head coach of the USC Trojans is in the books and if there was any doubt about change of pace the new staff plans to bring, it can be put to bed.
The Trojans are going to move this year. Very very quickly.
In fact, that was the pace of practice which seemed to be the biggest talking point in the early aftermath of practice. Redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler told reporters that they ran 120 plays in an hour and forty-five minutes.
“It was way different. We did really nothing the same,” Kessler said. “Last year it was run a play and everyone talk about it and figure it out. This was just go.”
Go. Go. Go.
That seems to be the Sarkisian M.O.
When praising senior linebacker Hayes Pullard, Sarkisian singled out his setting a good example for maintaining the increased tempo.
“If you’re walking, you’re wrong,” Sarkisian said. “And number 10 on defense was the first guy there on every drill.”
Funnily enough, the pace also gets in the way of evaluating players.
Sark said they don’t have time to critique individual players because they run so many reps. They add walkthru teaching periods for that.
— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) March 12, 2014
Observers like Jacob Freedman noted that the atmosphere hasn’t changed all that much from Kiffin era practices. Considering the presence of the ever-passionate Ed Orgeron during those years, it would be hard to beat that intensity. However, the uptempo is a definite, and mostly welcome, change from Kiffin’s sloth-like pace.