Tuesday AM practice report

The Trojans got in a light workout this morning without pads as they spent time working on the timing of getting in and out of the huddle, bringing the offense on the field after a timeout and the two minute offense. Officials were on hand to monitor the drills as the new NCAA rule regarding the clock starting after a timeout or change of possession is something that could effect game management.

It was only the veterans at practice as the freshmen were taking summer school finals but it will be a full squad practice in full pads this afternoon.

One interesting drill that we saw this morning was the punters taking snaps from a ball machine that fires the ball to them at a good rate of speed. The punters would move closer and closer to the machine after each rep to the point where they are just a few feet away, Once the punters got on the field we saw a good performance from walk-on Robert Taft, so much attention has been paid to Greg Woidneck so far as a punter but Taft had some good kicks of his own today. When it came time for field goals, we saw Mario Danelo and David Buehler alternate and based on what we've seen the past two days it looks like Buehler could be on his way to landing the role of long field goal specialist. He was making kicks from 45 yards with plenty of room to spare, his accuracy needs a little work but he hasn't been a placekicker for too long so that is bound to improve.

The vast majority of the practice was spent in team drill situations and it was primarily a day for the passing offense as there wasn't a lot of running the ball with no pads on. The first play saw John David Booty have a wide open passing lane, thanks to blocks from Sam Baker and Jeff Byers, and Booty was able to step into the throw and fire to Brad Walker on the sideline despite good coverage from Kevin Thomas. A couple plays later Mark Sanchez did a good job to read the blitz at the line of scrimmage and he threw to Patrick Turner on a slant to the open spot, the ball was a little behind Patrick but he was able to make the grab. Booty came back in and connected with Dale Thompson along the right sideline as Thompson continues his solid and steady play. Booty hit Steve Smith gliding across the middle for 15 yards and it's clear that Booty has a good comfort level with Smith as a receiver. The next play saw Booty line up with three receivers to one side and he quickly sidearmed a slingshot throw to Chris McFoy who went for eight yards.

Sanchez came back in and threw a short pass to Smith that was a little off target but Steve was able to reach up with one hand to make the catch and gain positive yardage. Mark then hit Turner with a mid-range pass over the middle, once again the ball was behind him as Mark struggled for a stretch with his accuracy but Patrick was able to pull the ball in, Mark hit Nick Vanderboom on a slant pass. Booty returned to the field and tried to connect with Smith but Dallas Sartz read the play and stepped in front of Steve for the interception. Kyle Moore knocked down a Booty pass at the line and a couple plays later Walker Ashley also knocked down a pass from John David. Sanchez came in to finish the day and he had nice completions to Vidal Hazelton and Brandon Hancock.

Chauncey Washington and Lawrence Jackson did not practice.


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