Wednesday practice report

The Trojans got back to work today in their first practice since the break, and it was a Monday-style of a workout as the team came out in shorts and helmets. With no hitting, it was a day that saw a lot of offensive fireworks, especially from Matt Leinart who looked especially sharp.

Before the session started we saw Tom Malone back in action and he was absolutely booming some punts in warm-ups. He also took some time out to give Troy Van Blarcom some pointers as he continues to take a few reps punting the ball before each practice.

Also early on, the first team defense went up against a scout team offense that featured Mark Sanchez wearing #10, mimicking Vince Young. Head coach Pete Carroll spent a lot of time working with the linebackers and safeties as they prepare to take on the multi-dimensional Texas QB. The starting linebackers were Brian Cushing (SAM), Oscar Lua (MIKE), and Keith Rivers (WILL). Rivers looked extremely quick and active today and was in on a number of plays, as was Cushing who dropped back into coverage nicely on one play and batted down a Sanchez sideline pass.

After stretching, I spent some time watching the first and second team offense's go against the scout team defense, and you could tell right away that Leinart was on today. Some of the big plays of this session:

* Leinart hit Steve Smith on an out pattern with a perfect pass with a ton of zip on it for a 10 yard gain.
* Leinart hit Hancock on a quick out, and he raced downfield for a touchdown.
* Leinart found Smith over the middle for a 14-15 yard gain.
* Chris McFoy took a sideline screen from Leinart and made a big gain thanks to some nice downfield blocking from Deuce Lutui and Sam Baker.
* Smith made a great grab along the sideline from a John David Booty pass before stepping out of bounds.
* Leinart threw a dart to Jarrett over the middle in the endzone.

Later on, the first team and second team defenses came over and got in the mix. LenDale White had a nice session, breaking off a few carries for big gains. Reggie Bush also made a couple of nice runs, and he made his presence felt coming out of the backfield as a receiver too, including on one play where he absolutely froze Josh Pinkard with some of his patented moves before breaking it for a long gain. Here are some other highlights:

* Lawrence Jackson came in and batted down a Leinart pass. Brandon Ting also applied some pressure on the play as he came blitzing in.
* Kyle Moore made a tackle-for-loss on Jody Adewale.
* Booty hit Dwayne Jarrett with a rope in the corner of the endzone.
* Leinart found Smith for a 30-35 yard TD pass.
* Mark Sanchez hit McFoy with a beautiful 15-20 yard TD strike for the last play of the day.


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