Thursday practice report

The Trojans finished their first post-loss practice week of the season on Thursday afternoon and the mood remained quiet and confident.

The offense showed a definite trend of striking deep down the middle of the field, while the defense looked as if it was working in some man coverage during skeleton drills.

During drills against the scout team offense, Keith Rivers made a great play by sticking with a tight end down the middle of the field and coming up with an interception.

Rey Maualuga also had a pick and it doesn't appear that his groin is really hindering him in any way. He made a play during punt return drills that stopped the drill for a bit when he flew in and broke up a fake punt, hitting Vincent Joseph down low.

Offensively, Travon Patterson was very active yet again today. He caught several passes down the middle of the field. Vidal Hazelton also had a solid day of practice. Those two wide receivers shining in practice has been a day-in-day-out occurrence, but it's getting harder and harder to justify taking catches away from Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett during games.

Patrick Turner was also on the receiving end of a deep toss on a post route.

But it was David Ausberry who again made the catch of the day, twice tipping a ball to himself in the back of the endzone to finish the scout-team scrimmage agaist the defense.

The running backs had a nice day of work as well. Chauncey Washington is holding onto the ball like his life depends on it, although he was used sparingly in practice today.

Emmanuel Moody received several handoffs and was running hard. He has that burst around the corner that is undeniable.

Desmond Reed got some reps at tailback today, catching several passes as an outlet receiver and making a nifty run where he cut back over the middle and hurdled a fallen blocker before accelerating through the secondary.

The final scrimmage was fairly short. Booty got things under way by hitting Fred Davis over the middle after play action. Vidal Hazelton caught a short pass in the flat and Chauncey Washington had a tough run over left tackle.

The practice ended with Mark Sanchez pitching to Stafon Johnson who pulled up and threw deep to Brad Walker. Johnson lost his footing as he threw but the ball still managed to float over the retreating Taylor Mays and fall into Walker's arms.


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