A Day for the Running Backs

The pads came back on Saturday evening as the Trojans took to the practice field for the second time of the day. It was a relatively uneventful practice, until the offense worked against the defense in the redzone. Then the action picked up in a hurry.

After six consecutive days of practice, and having hit the field already once today, it was on the quiet side Saturday evening compared to practices earlier this week. The Trojans focused on execution and precision.

That is, until the final practice segment which was a simulated redzone scrimmage. As the ball got put in the redzone, the energy level on the entire practice field rose considerably.

It was a day that belonged to the running backs, and Chauncey Washington helped kick off the redzone drills with a run up the middle in which he left two defenders grasping for him as he made a cut up the middle. After two consecutive stops, including a spectacular play by safety Kevin Ellison, the Trojan offense punched it in three straight times from the goal line.

As stated, it was a day for the talented group of running backs. Each player seemed to take turns making a big play and drawing cheers from both teammates and the spectators on hand.

Emmanuel Moody got the day started for the backs with a double cut back going between the tackles that he was then able to spring up the middle for a long gain. Broderick Green again showed more shake than a 240 pounder is supposed to have, and he also had a massive collision with fellow freshman Chris Gallipo. A collision that Green got the better of. 

Another Freshman Joe McKnight had a nice gain on a swing pass out of the backfield. The play was stopped when McKnight was tackled in the open field for one of the few times all week, as another true freshman, safety Marshall Jones, made the tackle.

Stafon Johnson had the run of the day towards the end practice making several would be tacklers miss before turning the corner for a big gain. 

It was a day that didn't make running backs coach Todd McNair's job any easier to set the depth chart, but it was day that McNair had to love seeing, knowing that the running back position is going to be in good hands this year as several players look ready to step up.

Some Notes from the Saturday's Second Session:

*Cornerback Terrell Thomas knocked Joe McKnight into a wall on a play where McKnight had broken free. Thomas was patted on the helmet by teammates, but jaded by his coaches for the late hit.

Patterson in Turner's #1

*Wide Receiver Travon Patterson was in a walking cast today after separating a bone in his toe. Patrick Turner and Patterson exchanged jerseys today as Turner showed support for his injured teammate.

*Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez continued his good work from this morning. He made good decisions and threw the ball extremely well.

What's next?
7:15 PM Practice Sunday Night at the Colosseum (Closed to the Public)

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