USC Football News: Fall Camp, Day 2 Practice Notes


Mar 3, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Jalen Greene (second from left) takes the snap at spring practice at Cromwell Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Day 2 of fall camp was another two and a half hour affair, with USC football news revolving around a few minor injuries and the continued progression of the freshmen.

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Justin Davis, John Plattenburg and Viane Talamaivao all suffered lower body injuries and were pulled out of practice as a precaution, though Steve Sarkisian said they don’t appear serious.

Even without them however, the Trojans continued to play with deep numbers and Sarkisian said he challenged the team improve off the positive vibe they had in Day 1.

A big benefactor to the numbers? The freshmen, who continued to see plenty of time in team drills.

The quarterbacks and running backs might be the most noticeable, with the newcomers getting ample time to impress while the veterans don’t get overworked as they may have in the past.

Now, let’s dive into the notebook.

Quick Notes:

  • Defense won the finish challenge for the second straight night despite going down 2-0 to start. Senior running back Tre Madden had a nice run up the middle to score the first point, then Cody Kessler completed a pass on the left to put the offense ahead. A stuffed run, a Su’a Cravens sack and too-short of a completion to Steven Mitchell gave the defense three successive points and the win. Sarkisian said he liked to see the defense comeback, though the offense needs to kill off their drives.
  • With Justin Davis out of action, the running back rotation was as follows: Tre Madden with the first team, Ronald Jones II with the second, Dominic Davis with the third, and then James Toland and Cedric Ware with the fourth team. Both Madden and Jones II look strong as a tandem, even without Justin Davis, but don’t overlook versatile freshman Dominic Davis. It’s early but the running backs are a strength.
  • The Trojans ran an punt coverage/return that had players from all units receiving punts. The stars of the drill? Wide receiver Steven Mitchell and freshman defensive back Isaiah Langley. Mitchell twice sprung free, with one of the times juking out fellow receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
  • Cody Temple ran with the first team on the defensive line alongside nose tackle Antwaun Woods and defensive tackle Delvon Simmons. Claude Pelon was with the twos, with Kenny Bigelow and Greg Townsend.
  • Freshman linebacker Osa Masina had an interception off a tipped ball from freshman Ricky Town, a bit like the one Porter Gustin nabbed at practice on Saturday.
  • Freshman defensive lineman Rasheem Green was held out for the second practice, but Sarkisian said he is going to be ready soon.
  • Freshman tight end Tyler Petite has impressed thus far, while getting plenty of reps with the second team behind Connor Spears. His biggest moment on Sunday night was a leaping catch for a touchdown on a pass from freshman quarterback Ricky Town.
  • Freshman quarterback Sam Darnold showed off his arm big time in Day 2, hitting Aaron Minor in the end zone on what was a highlight-reel catch. He also proved elusive by extending a few plays with his legs, at one point juking defensive lineman and scambling for a gain up the middle. How does that play work out in live action? Not sure, but it was good to see Darnold’s legs churning nonetheless.
  • Not to be one upped, Ricky Town emphatically jetted through the defense for a running touchdown, though it was not on a live play and he seemed to be playing for laughs.

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