It's not surprising that the defense might be ahead of the offense to this point with some very talented, experienced defenders returning for the Trojan defense. There was some intense hitting going on during Thursday's action, and it wasn't just the usual suspects making big plays; everyone was getting in on the action.
Standouts on defense on Thursday included safeties Will Harris and Josh Pinkard,
and cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Cary Harris got in on the action as well.
Harris had the hit of the week against receiver Brad Walker. Harris closed down
what looked to be a swing route on the line of scrimmage, and there was a
resounding "ohhh" from the crowd has Harris introduced Walked to the
Freshman Chris Gallipo continued to have a strong camp and looks to be pushing
for playing time. Gallipo and fellow freshman Malcolm Smith made a formidable
tandem on the third team defense.
The day didn't entirely belong to the defense though, while the back seven made
several bonecrushing hits, the big men up front for USC showed well again today.
An anomaly has developed when watching one on one pass rush drills between the
offensive and defensive linemen that bodes well for the Trojan offense. Without
a doubt, the drill has a defensive feel to it. Picture 3rd and 15 with a
defensive end matched up one on one with an offensive tackle. Throw in a
stationary quarterback, and the offensive lineman is in big trouble.
That hasn't been the case this week with the Trojan offensive line. With the
exception of Everson Griffen handily beating Butch Lewis, the USC offensive
linemen dominated the defensive line in pass protection drills. They locked on
to the oncoming defenders, used their hands well, and moved their feet extremely
well to keep the imaginary quarterback safe from harm's way.
*Sophomore receiver Damian Williams, while not cleared for contact, ran some
routes for the first time today. Williams is recovering from surgery on both of
his shoulders that he had after spring training.
*The Trojan tight ends and fullbacks continue to have big camps. True freshman
Jordan Campbell has been running second team at fullback and has looked solid in
*Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez has struggled a bit the past two days. He has
not looked as sharp as one might expect, missing some short throws, and making
some ill advised throws when his first option is covered.
*The center to quarterback exchange reared its ugly head during the first play
from scrimmage in the rush drills. Good news though, it was the only fumbled
snap of the day.
The Trojans hit the field on Friday in full pads before having two practices on
Day 4 Practice Notes
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