Wednesday practice report

We saw some position changes today as the coaches work to find the right combinations for the Saturday game against Washington State.

As the search for another fullback option continues, the most recent candidate to give it a try today was David Buehler, the safety/kickoff and long field goal specialist. As could be expected, David looked like a newcomer to the position during blocking drills but he presents an interesting athletic option to keep an eye on. Jody Adewale also continues to get reps behind starter Mike Brittingham.

We also saw Allen Bradford return to safety, at his request, and he was working behind Taylor Mays today during drills. With Kevin Ellison sitting out today, we saw Dallas Sartz and Antwine Perez get reps in his place. When Dallas was at safety we saw Thomas Williams take his place at linebacker. The sight of Mays and Sartz at the safety spots gives USC the biggest pair of safeties anyone at practice could recall seeing in the past.

Dwayne Jarrett did not practice but that doesn't mean he wasn't busy. Dwayne hosted a young Trojan fan who is part of the Make-A-Wish foundation and the youngster followed Dwayne around while wearing his own #8 cardinal home jersey. In the absence of Jarrett, we saw Steve Smith and Vidal Hazelton get a lot of balls thrown their way. Fred Davis also had a productive practice.

In service team drills, Vincent Joseph was taking reps while impersonating the WSU tailback. On the offensive side of things, John David Booty really seemed in synch with Smith today by hitting him with a wide variety of throws. Steve caught a deep pass to start the drill, had some mid-range catches and also a nice crossing route completion. Booty threw his prettiest pass of the day down the middle deep to Fred Davis who only had a step on the defender but it was enough for Booty to zip the ball in there. In addition to the passing game, we saw nice runs from C.J. Gable, Chauncey Washington and Stafon Johnson. Stafon could be the one to benefit the most from the move of Bradford back to defense. Chauncey continues to look as if he is getting stronger and that is good news indeed.

In a series of red zone plays, Booty threw a pair of touchdowns to Hazelton including one where he rolled right and fired a strike low and away where only Vidal could get it. That is one of the best throws John David has in his arsenal.

During special teams kick drills, Mario Danelo hit a 45 yarder while Buehler made a 52 yard kick. One observer noted that the move to fullback seemed to agree with Buehler's kicking game.

Some highlight plays from the team drill included a deep completion from Booty to Vidal on a post pattern. Bradford committed an obvious PI penalty on a pass intended for Anthony McCoy. Mark Sanchez hit Jimmy Miller down the middle of the field and Jimmy made a fingertip grab for a 40 yard TD. Sanchez later completed a pass for 20 yards along the sidelines to David Ausberry (who has been one of the bright spots for the service team offensive efforts so far this fall).

Brian Cushing left the field early after rolling his ankle but said afterwards that he is fine and just sat out as a precaution. Kevin Thomas dressed and went through some position drills early in the day.


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