Thursday practice recap

After getting a scare yesterday it was good to see both Shaun Cody and Kenechi Udeze on the field today and taking part in drills. We should also mention that Bernard Riley was a major injury concern after the first few days of practice but lately he has practiced hard and been extremely effective.

Went to Brian Kennedy Field to watch the first defense against the scout offense. David Kirtman started things off with a run off tackle behind a block from Kyle Williams on Mike Pollard and the play went for six. Kirtman carried the ball again and was met immediately by Pollard for no gain. Morgan Criag tried a few passes but they weren't pretty and all fell incomplete. On one of the passes the ball got juggled and fell to the ground with several players chasing it but Aaron Graham went down hard when he went for the ball and stayed on the ground for several minutes. He was taken off the field for X-rays and we'll update as soon as we hear something. Kirtman showed a real nice run when he went to the left and cut inside at the line for nine yards before a DeShaun Hill tackle. The d-line was pretty dominant in this drill as is to be expected but Kirtman was able to break another decent run when he followed a Williams block on Dallas Sartz for 12 yards. Jason Leach closed the drill by tackling Kirtman behind the line.

In another drill on Kennedy Field the offense began with Matt Leinart overthrowing Gregg Guenther (not an easy thing to do) with excellent pressure from Nate Steinbacher. Leinart then hit Alex Holmes who rumbled for seven yards before being driven out by Sandy Fletcher. Sultan McCullough took a handoff and made a nice run for a touchdown. Carson then overthrew Guenther as well. Leinart pitched the ball to Sultan but he bobbled it and fell on his own fumble.

The linemen moved to the far field for some one on one pass rush drills. Lenny Vandermade went against Mike Patterson and did an excellent job although Lenny lost his helmet in the process. Riley beat Norm Katnik fairly easily and then Shaun Cody absolutely blew past Fred Matua. The coaches made that pair do it again but same result as Cody is just too quick and powerful. Eric Torres did a nice job against Udeze and then Vandermade stopped Patterson again. Jacob Rogers and Omar Nazel basically played to a draw and Jacob has his left shoulder wrapped but didn't look like it was causing him any major problems. Udeze beat Torres bad. The 2nd unit came in and Winston Justice looked good against the quick first step of Dominique Byrd. Vandermade stopped Spencer Torgan and then Derek Graf had the block of the day when he pancacked Travis Tofi. The same pair went again and Graf beat him again although this time Travis didn't end up on the ground. Steinbacher beat Travis Watkins and then Philip Eaves and Chris Prosser played to a draw. Byrd beat Justice off the ball with a shout from Ed Orgeron for a job well done. Those two went again and it was a draw. Anthony Daye beat Norm Katnik and Graf did another nice job against Tofi.

The team moved to Howard Jones Field and Carson started things off with a completion over the middle to Guenther. Carson dropped back again and got good time thanks to a Hancock block on a blitzing Grootegoed but his pass attempt to Guenther was too far out in front and Pollard got the interception. Carson hit Jason Mitchell in front of William Buchanan and then missed on a pass to Hancock with Dom Byrd on the coverage. A quick Carson pass to Mike Williams saw the freshman lose Jason Leach before Justin Wyatt stopped the play after eight yards. Wyatt then came in and got the sack on Palmer. Leinart came in and threw to Williams who made simply a wonderful catch for 17 yards. Leinart then dropped back with good time and lofted a strike to Kareem 40 yards downfield for a touchdown. Leinart came out throwing again and went to Williams with a highly thrown ball and Mike went up against Buchanan to make the play but the catch was ruled out of bounds. Matt dropped back again but Sartz came on a blitz and knocked down the pass attempt.

The day ended with a defensive drill under the scenario that the offense was trying to drive the ball down the field at the end of the game for a winning field goal. The first offense went against the 2nd defense and Carson dropped back to pass with a quick throw to Kelly but the well thrown ball bounced off the receiver and Sartz came down with the interception. The 2nd offense came in against the 1st defense and Matt Leinart went to Mitchell for five yards. Leinart then hit Williams with Melvin Simmons getting the tackle after seven yards and a first down. Leinart threw the ball away with good coverage in the secondary before trying to hit Holmes on 2nd down but the pass was high. A short pass went for 4 yards and on fourth down Leinart took off on a scramble and he got eight for the first down. Leinart quickly spiked the ball to stop the clock. Leinart then threw to Mitchell and Polamalu gave him a good pop after four yards, there was also a nice pass block by Sultan against the blitzing Grootegoed. A field goal attempt by Davis was blocked (I think by Dom Byrd but I'm not sure). The 1st offense came back out and Carson threw to Malaefou for six yards with a tackle by Oscar Lua. Carson went to Keary Colbert and the ball was almost intercepted by Dallas Sartz who is continuing to make a case for playing time. On fourth down Carson threw for Colbert but Buchanan knocked it away to end the day.

Among the notables in attendance were Brea-Olinda TE Evan Moore, Loyola junior lineman Mark Gray and former Trojan football players Jeff Kopp and Matt Koffler.


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