Day 7 of USC football’s Fall Camp was all about Day 8, with a light practice ahead of Saturday’s big live-tackling scrimmage at the Coliseum.
There’s not much to say about USC football’s seventh day of Fall Camp practices. The Trojans held a light practice on Howard Jones Field with no pads and no helmets.
“Today was a situational mastery day for us,” head coach Clay Helton said, looking to give players’ bodies a rest while emphasizing what to do in late game scenarios.
Helton shouted out situations and the players acted them out at half speed or slower, from when to spike the ball to set up a field goal to how to properly defend a Hail Mary attempt at the end of a game.
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It was important information to go over, but it was also a placeholder of a day.
All eyes on Friday were on Saturday.
“Tomorrow is obviously a big day for us,” Helton said.
On Saturday, the Trojans will be back in the Coliseum for a scrimmage, which will be the biggest test to this point for all three quarterbacks and all of their teammates from the big men up front to the skill position players on the outside.
The scrimmage will feature live tackling from start to finish. It will involve two drives of eight plays for Matt Fink, Jack Sears and JT Daniels to navigate, as well as a two-minute drill for each.
“We worked on that heavy all day today and we’re going to take it to the park live tomorrow,” said Helton.
Daniels may have the most to gain from the scrimmage, with the chance to put all the things he’s learned in just a week of action to good use. A strong performance this early in his career would go a long way towards proving he has what it takes to lead the Trojans despite his inexperience.
Fink may have the most to lose. Though he has made his share of nice plays, the redshirt sophomore has lacked the efficiency of his competitors so far and needs to make a statement in front of the peristyle.
Sears has arguably been the most consistently impressive of the trio so far in camp. A similarly capable performance as he put in on Thursday could further solidify the idea that he may be pulling ahead in the competition.
Notes and tidbits
- Helton said he has been pleased with the offensive line performance this week, most noticeably in the way USC has developed depth. “You’ve got some really talented guys on that second team and it allows us to have the confidence that if somebody goes down we’ve got somebody that’s not only talented but ready to do the job.”
- Linebacker Kanai Mauga is closing in on 250 pounds having spend a few months in USC’s strength and conditioning program. He estimates he was 215 pounds this time last year.