Thursday practice report

The Trojans, wearing shells, got a light practice in Thursday afternoon. The coaches called the practice after an hour an a half, no doubt to limit the amount of Trojan on Trojan violence. The best news of the day should come up front: There were no new or serious injuries that I saw.

As for the infirmary, Ryan Kalil sat out practice. Nick Howell received all first-team center snaps and the coaches made sure that he would be ready if called upon. Kahil ran out of practice before speaking to reporters, leaving his health and status unknown.

Michael Colemn was the first non-kicker on the field. It was good to see him out there looking positive and upbeat. I'm assuming he liked what he saw of Ryan Powdrell and the fullback position during USC's win at Arkansas.

Kevin Ellison was dressed, but wasn't wearing pads and he had a sleeve covering his knee under a pair of sweatpants. He participated in walk-through drills, but sat out on any drills requiring helmets or contact. Ellison feels confident that he will be able to play on Saturday.

Oscar Lua dressed in pads, but didn't see him participating in any drills.

Chauncey Washington dressed, participated and looked smooth running with the ball. He should be able to go Saturday.

Kevin Thomas sat out the practice.

As for the rest of the team, the first-team defense worked on goalline situations against the scout-team offense. Brian Cushing fell asleep on a naked bootleg and got an ear full from Coach Norton. I'm guessing that's the last time he will make that mistake. Cushing made several good plays after that, dropping into coverage and shadowing a fullback down the sideline.

Mozique McCurtis worked as the nickleback with Antwine Perez and Taylor Mays as safeties. Perez made the best play on defense, an interception on a halfback option. Mays looks fluid and comfortable at his new safety spot.

Offensively, the day's best throw came from John David Booty as he hooked up with Travon Patterson. Booty rolled out after play-action and found a streaking Patterson on a deep post route. Booty's throw led the receiver away from the defender and hit him perfectly in stride.

Booty had another throw completed for touchdown to Dwayne Jarrett. Watching from the far endzone with a wall of onlookers between myself and the play, it looked as if Booty was simply gunning the ball through the uprights, until the long arms of #8 came from nowhere to snatch it down. Jarrett is definitely responding to Lane Kiffen's comments earlier this week, and looks ready to have a monster game.

Today's scrimmage was very brief with each quarterback getting only a few snaps. Booty led the first-team offense against the second-team defense and found Vidal Hazelton on a crossing route for a completion on the first play. Later, he tried to find Patrick Turner deep, down the left sideline, but the pass was broken up on a nice play by Shareece Wright. Booty then found Steve Smith down the middle of the field on another perfectly thrown ball.

Mark Sanchez then led his second-team offense against the first-team defense and completed passes to Jimmy Miller and David Ausberry.

That brought practice to a close, and everyone seemed genuinely upbeat that they finally got through a practice without someone going down.


USCFootball.com Top Stories