USC football practice notes: Day 8 ends with in-house team discipline (8/8)

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

USC Football was back in full pads for fall camp practice No. 8, which ended with some “in-house team discipline” overseen by Clay Helton.

USC Football’s eighth practice of fall camp happened to fall on the eighth of August, but the Trojans did many more than eight push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises as practice came to a close.

Clay Helton wouldn’t disclose what the Trojans were being punished for on Tuesday, calling it “in-house team discipline” when the team lined up on Howard Jones Field and worked up a sweat doing push-ups, planks, sit-ups, squats and burpies.

“Typical of any team, at some point in time you have some team discipline and that was that time. I’ll leave it at that,” the head coach said.

One player who had a rough time of it? Quarterback Sam Darnold.

“I’ve always sucked at sit ups,” he said. “My core is super strong but I have a long torso, so my whole childhood I had trouble doing sit ups. That was hard.”

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Despite the punishment feeling like his Pop Warner and high school days, Darnold acknowledged it as a learning experience.

“Whenever we get that it’s a time to get better. So I take it head on and so does the whole team.”

News and Notes

  • The Trojans, back in full pads, mixed and matched line ups more than they have so far this camp, pitting the first team offensive and defense against the second team, with particular situational personnel packages.
  • Darnold’s growing chemistry with Tyler Vaughns is more and more evident as camp goes on. The quarterback hit the receiver on a deep slant for what would have been a touchdown. He also found Vaughns twice during 7-on-7 and another two completions during 11-on-11.
  • Linebacker Cameron Smith may have made the play of the day during 7-on-7. Darnold tried to find Velus Jones in the endzone but Smith was able to keep up with the speedy receiver, leap and palm the ball away.
  • Freshman tight end Erik Krommenhoek, who has been more of a receiving than originally expected this fall, dropped a long pass from Matt Fink early on during practice. He made up for it later by catching another Fink pass and holding on despite taking a licking from safety Bubba Bolden. Near the end of practice, he caught a long pass over the top thrown by Darnold for a touchdown.

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  • The bulk of Tuesday’s one-on-ones went the way of the receivers, including a highlight-reel catch from Joseph Lewis over Jack Jones. The cornerback popped up after the freshman receiver made a tough catch on the sideline acknowledging, “That was a helluva catch.”
    • Iman Marshall broke up a pass intended for Michael Pittman.
    • Velus Jones and Josh Imatorbhebhe both beat Ajene Harris on long throws over the top.
  • Safety Ykili Ross sacked Darnold during the final 11-on-11 period of the day. A couple plays later, Ross nearly grabbed an interception in the endzone while defending Jones, however, the receiver did just enough to keep the ball from sticking in the DB’s hands.
  • Pittman made an impressive grab on a Darnold pass late in practice while falling down near the sideline.