Tuesday practice quick slant

No matter where safety/linebacker Su'a Cravens lines up for USC, he seems to be around the ball making plays. Tuesday, Cravens jumped several routes of receivers to give the defense an added boost in coverage with the absence of Josh Shaw.

  • After Tuesday’s practice, Steve Sarkisian opens the media scrum with a statement about starting cornerback Josh Shaw : "He’s a good person. He’s a good kid. He came to us with what had occurred Saturday night and I have no reason, no history to not believe Josh and his story and what has occurred. Within the last few hours or so we have gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night. We’re going to continue to vet it. We’re looking at it."

  • Sources say Sarkisian and JK McKay interrogated Shaw at great length about the story of saving his nephew in the pool and spraining both ankles leaping off the balcony at a family gathering in Palmdale. But according to Sark, the calls started coming in as the team was heading out to practice this morning at 8:00 a.m.. Sarkisian said they need to know about certain details and until this is all cleared up, Shaw will not be available to the media.

  • X-rays and tests were negative on Josh Shaw for broken bones. Shaw has two high ankle sprains.

  • Cornerbacks Chris Hawkins and Kevon Seymour got the call with the first team defense Tuesday with Shaw out indefinitely.

  • Guard Khaliel Rodgers had his helmet with him today, but no pads. Rodgers remains out with an injured knee.

  • A lot of first defensive versus first defense and second defensive versus second defense Tuesday. This was clearly a tone setting practice for game week.

  • Freshman Damien Mama and Viane Talamaivao shared the right guard spot Tuesday.

  • Cornerback Adoree Jackson received mostly second team reps in the defensive backfield with John Plattenburg, Matt Lopes and Jonathan Lockett. Jackson also got some late practice reps on offense as a wide receiver.

  • It was a purposely light day for running backs Buck Allen and Justin Davis in the absence of Tre Madden. Most of the carries Tuesday went to Soma Vainuku, Jahleel Pinner and James Toland.

  • Nickel SAM Su'a Cravens made some good plays in coverage Tuesday. His instincts around the ball are good no matter where he lines up.

  • The left-side offensive line backup pair are Aundrey Walker and Jordan Simmons, who both appeared closer to being healthy than in previous practices.

  • Defensive line coach Chris Wilson had the second group defensive line of Delvon Simmons, Greg Townsend Jr. and Charles Burks doing up-downs when they missed a shift call.

  • Giovanni Di Poalo received most of the second-team snaps at center Tuesday instead of Toa Lobendahn, who was concentrating on guard.

  • Safety Matt Lopes with another interception Tuesday. He leads the walk-ons in interception by a large margin coming out of fall camp.

  • Sarkisian called Cody Kessler “exceedingly sharp” with big competitions to Nelson Agholor, Ajene Harris, Bryce Dixon and Buck Allen.

  • Gerard Martinez contributed to this article

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