USC football practice notes: Offensive line experiment on Day 9 (8/13)

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

Practice standouts

  • Drake London… London had some freshman moments on Tuesday, dropping a couple of passes, but he supplied more than enough plays to make up for those miscues. Most spectacularly, he completed a one-handed reception on a fade during 1v1.
  • Isaiah Pola-Mao… Pola-Mao stripped Stephen Carr during a drive meant to simulate an end-of-game situation with the defense aiming to get the ball back and the offense meaning to run out the clock. He also appeared to get a sack, or at least force a throwaway during the team blitz period.
  • Matt Fink… Fink bounced back from yesterday’s two-interception outing by showing great poise. He converted a critical third down during the kill-the-clock segment and was the best of the quarterbacks at dealing with pressure during the team blitz. He also completed some impressive throws just beyond defenders in 7-on-7.

Highlights and tidbits

  • 1v1 segment:
    • Jack Sears was on target from 30 yards out with long completions to Tyler Vaughns, Drake London, Velus Jones and Devon Williams. From 20 yards away he hit Devon Williams and Michael Pittman in the endzone. At the goal line, he lobbed the fade which London hauled in one-handed.
    • Kedon Slovis was more off target between the two, particularly from the 30-yard range. Moving in closer at 20 yards he found his groove with two fades to Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was defended by Isaac Taylor-Stuart. At the goal line he completed a perfect fade to Devon Williams but had another dropped by Michael Pittman.
    • Adonis Otey broke up an out from Sears intended for Williams and a slant from Slovis intended for the same receiver. Meanwhile Kaulana Makaula broke up one from Slovis aimed for Drake London. Makaula was later called for pass interference while defending St. Brown. Taylor-Stuart also got hit with a flag while defending the receiver. Flags came out for Steele defending Velus Jones on a slant as well. Greg Johnson defended St. Brown well for a pass breakup on an endzone fade at the goal line.
  • 11-on-11 “kill the clock”
    • Matt Fink led the first team. Sisaster struck early after Stephen Carr took a handoff to the right and was chased down by Isaiah Pola-Mao, who forced a devastating fumble for the situation. The offense bounced back on the reset when facing a third down they had to convert. Fink rolled to the right and dumped the ball off to Erik Krommenhoek for the conversion.
    • Kedon Slovis worked with the twos, handing off to Markese Stepp twice and Quincy Jountti to convert the first down.
  • 11-on-11 team blitz
    • JT Daniels went 1-of-4 with the first team, throwing an interception on the first play. He tried to fit a ball in to Erik Krommenhoek quickly, but John Houston was right on top of the tight end, popping the ball into the air on contact. Isaac Taylor-Stuart got under it for the pick.Daniels missed Amon-Ra St. Brown long, then either completed a crossing route to St. Brown or was sacked by Juliano Falaniko on the next play, depending on your interpretation. Finally, the quarterback missed Michael Pittman facing pressure from John Houston.
    • Matt Fink went 4-of-4 with the second team. He twice found Devon Williams, then got the ball out quickly to Velus Jones and John Jackson III.
    • Jack Sears went 1-of-3 with the first team. His first pass was batted down by Marlon Tuipulotu on the line. A swing pass out to Markese Stepp would have resulted in big yardage for the running back if not for thud rules as John Houston didn’t have a good angle for a real tackle. A handoff to Quincy Jountti was dealt with by Palaie Gaoteote then Sears was forced to lob it long to no one with Isaiah Pola-Mao in his face coming untouched from the middle.
    • Kedon Slovis went 2-of-5 with the second team. He missed his first pass from pressure but completed a quick out to Velus Jones then sent a long ball over the top for the same receiver, who made a diving grab. His final ball was a well-thrown dart to Michael Pittman on the outside.
  • 7-on-7 segment
    • Matt Fink went 3-of-5 with the first team. After missing his first two passes, Fink converted on third down by dropping a ball in over the head of Isaiah Pola-Mao for Michael Pittman to catch in stride. He also hit Stephen Carr in the flat and dropped another ball in over the top of a defender, this time to Josh Falo over Chase Williams up the seam.
    • Kedon Slovis went 2-of-5 with the second team. He threw his first pass away then had his second attempt towards Jude Wolfe broken up by Ralen Goforth. He completed passes to Wolfe and Tyler Vaughns before finishing with a ball too low for Amon-Ra St. Brown.
    • JT Daniels went 2-of-5 with the first team. He hit Quincy Jountti in the flat then threw a  behind John Jackson III incomplete. Drake London dropped a dart before another pass fell incomplete because it was thrown behind Josh Falo. Kenan Christon got a short incompletion to end the series.
    • Jack Sears went 2-of-5 with the second team. He started out with quick passes to Erik Krommenhoek and Jude Wolfe, but the timing was off on a long shot to Devon Williams when the receiver stumbled. He missed his final two passes.
  • 11-on-11 driving segment
    • Kedon Slovis went 5-of-5 with the first team starting from the 25-yard line. He accurately completed passes to John Jackson III, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns twice, moving the ball with rhythm. Then a breakdown in coverage left St. Brown wide open over the middle and the quarterback delivered the ball with ease for a touchdown.
    • JT Daniels went 0-of-2 with the second team working in the middle of the field. A handoff to Quincy Jountti was stuffed before the quarterback’s slant pass to Devon Williams was broken up by Dominic Davis. Jude Wolfe dropped the next attempt which was put just a bit too far on the edge of his finger tips. Jountti carried twice with purpose, gaining tough yardage.
    • Matt Fink went 1-of-2 with the first team in the redzone. Two handoffs to Markese Stepp went for just a few yards before the quarterback hit John Jackson III on the outside for a short gain. Stepp was stuffed once more, then Fink attempted a fade to Michael Pittman working against Chris Steele. The cornerback played the receiver tough, following through with his pass breakup even as Pittman tried to haul in the ball as he fell. Pittman argued for pass interference but the referee didn’t hear it.
    • Jack Sears went 3-of-4 with the second team starting from the 25-yard line. He completed passes to Drake London and Devon Williams but had a pass dropped by Jack Webster. A quick comeback to Velus Jones was followed by a handoff to Kenan Christon for a decent gain on the right.
    • JT Daniels went 4-of-4 with the first team in the middle of the field. He quickly completed passes to Tyler Vaugns and Jude Wolfe, but took a sack on the third play. He bounced back with a ball perfectly timed to Drake London, who made Talanoa Hufanga miss as he turned upfield. The final play of the series went to Stephen Carr in the flat, who shimmied to make a defender miss.
    • Kedon Slovis went 0-of-2 with the second team in the redzone. He threw the ball away on his first snap, then handed off to Quincy Jountti, who was stuffed by Connor Murphy. He put a throw too low for Chase Locke, then handed off to Markese Stepp to end practice.