Monday practice quick slant

The USC football team hist the field Monday after getting some bad news about projected starter Jabari Ruffin being out for 10 months with an ACL tear. Stepping up was Su'a Cravens.

  • Monday’s practice is in helmets and shoulder pads. The workout was a bit subdued after word of Jabari Ruffin's season-ending ACL injury Sunday. Steve Sarkisian said after practice that it's one of those dog-days when you just hit the wall a bit. He said the energy of practice was OK, but the team needs to get more upbeat with its offensive tempo Tuesday.

  • Also giving the early workout an informal -- and little bit laid-back look -- are Leonard Williams doing the pre-practice walkthrough in a camouflage bucket hat -- not that there's anything wrong with a bucket hat. Antwaun Woods -- no longer in a sling for his elbow -- doing it in a baseball cap. Neither were in pads, but both were with the first group for that period.

  • Also out of pads and limping a bit after treatment are Adoree Jackson (foot), Darreus Rogers (achilles) and in a sling is Anthony Brown.

  • One major position personnel adjustments at outside linebacker Monday. Su'a Cravens opens up in what he called a "Nickel SAM" position. He states it is similar to what Washington did with Shaq Thompson last year. Cravens is down six pounds, he said, to 225 now. He said he is fine with his new spot as long as he can make plays.
  • Cravens got two quarterback sacks and a spick six Monday before coming up a bit lame.  Cravens later said he's fine and will be back full-go Tuesday.

  • Tre Madden and Justin Davis had some success early in practice running the football. Madden is also developing into a very good pass blocker.

  • Wide receivers George Farmer and Ajene Harris stood out early in one-on-one drills.

  • In Damien Mama, Zach Banner and Viane Talamaivao, Sarkisian remarks, ”I don't think anybody is going to rush us.”

  • Aundrey Walker gets some reps with the second group in at right guard. Walker wore a yellow jersey Monday and pulled up limping. However, Sarkisian said he should be out of the yellow jersey Tuesday.

  • Cravens lined up opposite of Scott Starr (Felix) and/or J.R. Tavai in 11-on-11 periods. He says they'll play it one way against a run-heavy team like Stanford and another against a team like Arizona.

  • Cody Kessler got the first team offense off to a good start in the first 11-on-11 period. Kessler hits Randall Telfer on a crossing route to open followed by Buck Allen and Tre Madden both running and catching the ball. But after a handful of successful plays, the offense hit a wall.

  • As much as Sarkisian says this is a "run-first" team, three wide sets seem to be the most successful personnel pairing for USC right now. It’s a fun group to watch, but the receivers had a case of the drops Monday. Or was it just a case of the Mondays?

  • Safety Matt Lopes gets an interception on a Max Browne overthrow. Matt’s father, Sr. Assoc. AD Steve was watching and smiling as he leaned on the goal post.

  • Two more INTs on balls through receivers hands after that play. Farmer and George Katrib help Josh Shaw and Cravens to interceptions. Cravens interception went for six.

  • Two for four day for the FG competitors with neither getting the benefit of good snaps with Andre Heidari converting his 35 and 42-yarders and Matt Boermeester good from 42 and 48.

  • Max Browne loses an 85-yard touchdown pass when Nelson Agholor, 10 yards in the clear, tries to run before he catches the ball and can't pull it in.

  • Safety John Plattenburg gets a shout out after practice from Sarkisian for knowing what to do and being able to make the calls in the secondary as a freshman.

  • Biggest play of the day is freshman Bryce Dixon on a 90-yard sideline streak route that has him beating the secondary with Ryan Dillard trying to come over after busted coverage. Dillard can't catch Dixon as he tiptoes the final 30 yards down the sideline.

  • Ajene Harris gives the freshmen two big touchdown plays to finish practice. Harris hauled in a 35-yard catch in traffic at the goal line. His third straight big catch in the final go-round.

  • One new element to practice had Max Browne working with the first team against the blitz package. "Cody could stub his had," Sarkisian said. Lots of "contingency planning and work," now, he continued. 


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