USC football practice notes: Tempo lessons on Day 11 (8/15)

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /
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Practice standouts

  • Talanoa Hufanga… The safety once again showed his top-notch instincts by picking a pass and returning it to the house.
  • Abdul-Malik McClain… With Hunter Echols sidelined by turf toe, McClain saw a greater share of reps with the second team and did well to pressure the quarterback off the edge.
  • Kana’i Mauga… Mauga was active from the inside linebacker spot, both in run defense and against the pass. He should have had an interception but dropped it.

Highlights and tidbits

  • Again the Trojans shuffled the offensive line at times, working Jalen McKenzie in at right guard with the first team and Andrew Vorhees at right tackle with the second team.
  • Nickelback Chase Williams got some time at safety with the second team but was called back to his original position when Greg Johnson couldn’t finish practice because of injury.
  • 7-on-7 segment:
    • Jack Sears went 4-of-5 with the first team, finding Stephen Carr on the outside and Drake London in the middle of the field before Chase Williams stopped both. He missed a wide open Erik Krommenhoek up the seam, but came back on the next two plays to hit Michael Pittman on a comeback and Krommenhoek on the outside, with Chris Steele making both stops.
    • Kedon Slovis went 5-of-5 with the second team. He completed passes to John Jackson III on a curl stopped by Briton Allen and Jack Webster in the middle stopped by Kana’i Mauga. Then he found Devon Williams on a comeback downed by Dorian Hewett. His best throw was one downfield to Josh Falo, who got away from Hewett. Slovis also hit a running back in the flat to finish his series perfect.
    • JT Daniels went 5-of-5 with the first team. He hit Tyler Vaughns on a slant defended by Isaiah Pola-Mao, then found Michael Pittman on the outside shadowed by Chris Steele. Next he went to Velus Jones on a curl before Talanoa Hufanga could get there. A quick shot to Erik Krommenhoek was covered by Chase Williams before the tight end picked up more yards on a slant which was ultimately downed by Raymond Scott.
    • Matt Fink went 4-of-5 with the second team. His first throw was an impressive one finding Falo on a corner route just as he broke into a pocket of space. Unfortunately he wasn’t on target on his next throw, which missed Jude Wolfe, who had gained separation. Fink made up for it with quick completions to Jack Webster and Drake London twice in the middle of the field.
  • 11-on-11 driving segment:
    • Kedon Slovis went 1-of-4 starting from the 25-yard line with the first team. A handoff to Stephen Carr was stuffed, then Slovis had to throw the ball away because of pressure from Ralen Goforth. He found John Jackson III on a crossing route for his lone completions, but should have had a second when he tossed an accurate ball downfield to Michael Pittman. With Chris Steele close in coverage, Pittman had the ball hit his hands and fall to the ground incomplete. Slovis’ final throw was to Jackson III on a curl, which John Houston disrupted, but the defender was flagged for pass interference.
    • JT Daniels went 2-of-4 working in the middle of the field with the second team. Quincy Jountti gained little on the first play before the quarterback completed a pair of passes on the inside to Chase Locke, stopped by C.J. Pollard and Dorian Hewett, and Drake London, stopped by Hewett. Daniels threw his next pass away then had his final attempt towards Tyler Vaughns broken up by Olaijah Griffin.
    • Matt Fink went 1-of-2 in the red zone with the first team. Pressured by Christian Rector, he overthrew Tyler Vaughns in the endzone, though tight coverage from Isaac Taylor-Stuart might have prevented a completion either way. A handoff to Kenan Christon gained little before Fink delivered a pass onto the fingertips of Michael Pittman in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown. Having given up the aerial score, the defense buckled down on a ground. A pitch to Markese Stepp went nowhere before Palaie Gaoteote burst into the backfield on the final play to drop Stepp for a tackle for loss.
    • Jack Sears went 2-of-2 starting from the 25-yard line with the second team. After a low snap from Justin Dedich, pressure from Abdul-Malik McClain forced him to run for a short gain. On the next play McClain again blew by the left tackle, Frank Martin, to pressure the quarterback into a scramble. Sears completed a quick slant to Velus Jones, stopped by Adonis Otey to get back on track. Then he froze the rush with a playaction and went deep to Jones, who separated from Otey and made the long catch for a touchdown. Markese Stepp finished out the series with a solid run.
    • JT Daniels went 2-of-3 in the middle of the field with the first team. Stephen Carr gained some yards going right on the first play, then cut back left on the second to eek out a few more. Then Daniels got off to a bad start when he was slow getting a pass out to John Jackson III. Talanoa Hufanga read it all the way, jumped the route, picked the pass and returned it for a touchdown. Daniels showed no signs of skittishness on his next two throws at least. He hit Carr on the outside, stopped by Isaac Taylor-Stuart, then found Erik Krommenhoek on a curl.
    • Kedon Slovis went 3-of-4 in the red zone with the second team, overthrowing his first attempt in the endzone, then keeping it simple by swinging the ball out to Quincy Jountti. Next, he found Kenan Christon for a completion on the outside. His final throw was his most impressive. Rolling to his left, he lobbed it up for Michael Pittman, who went up for the catch and the score. A handoff to Jountti finished practice.