Wednesday practice report

It was a fairly energetic practice today with a lot of key reserve players getting extended work.

Since it is a bye week there were a few subtle changes to the Turnover Wednesday routine and the shifts in the schedule did not go unnoticed by the sideline observers. Former Trojan quarterback Jim Hardy was quick to point out that all the players were involved in every drill today, as opposed to the majority of the in-season practices where certain players wear "blackshirts" to mimic the opposing team. There were also changes in the way the players went about drills that work on stripping the football. The Trojan practices are usually such a routine, day in and day out, that even the slightest changes are cause for note.

Among the early highlights for the defense were interceptions by Kaluka Maiava and Alex Morrow. The defense blocked a field goal attempt and Dallas Sartz (I'm assuming he got the block but you couldn't tell for sure) proceeded to bow to all four corners of the field in Andre Agassi-style.

Mark Sanchez threw a pass over the middle to Travon Patterson who put a move on a defender and ran the play out to the end zone. A couple plays later Travon's cousin, Stafon Johnson, took a handoff and ran the play out to the end zone. Allen Bradford took a short handoff and was met at the sideline by Shareece Wright. A few plays later Sanchez threw one of the prettiest passes when he dropped it over the shoulder of Anthony McCoy (who was covered very well by Mike Morgan) and the play went for a 40 yard TD. Ken Norton tried to get on Morgan but you really can't cover a play much better than that, it was simply a great throw and catch.

One new position alignment we saw was Thomas Herring at RG and Butch Lewis at RT with the second unit. Travis Draper worked with the first team at RT in the absence of Kyle Williams and it was the first time we've seen Herring get reps at guard. After one nice block by Herring, David Newbury commented "That was John Drake".

The ball was brought into the red zone for a series of scoring opportunities. Cary Harris had a great pass break-up of a deep slant at the goal line intended for Patrick Turner. Emmanuel Moody took a handoff and Brad Walker tried a crackback block on Rey Maualuga, the operative word there is "tried"...Rey didn't budge. Sanchez hit Patterson on a corner route near the goal line against coverage from his Poly teammate Vincent Joseph. The offense tried to hit Dwayne Jarrett a couple times in the end zone but the plays were no good. Nice coverage on one play by Shareece Wright, a penalty on the offense negated another try. Vidal Hazelton got the ball in the open field and pretty much ran over walk-on Dan Deckas. John Griffin had a long TD run. David Ausberry had a couple nice grabs, he also had a drop in the end zone but for the most part he continued to look sharp. On the final play of practice we saw the team try the same fake field goal they ran against Washington, this time Mike McDonald completed the pass to walk-on receiver Scott Stephens who barely got into the end zone before being popped by Shareece.


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