Spirits were high for the last practice on Howard Jones Field before the USC-Nebraska game (Saturday, September 15, 7:00 p.m. CT, ABC). Coaches were animated and the players responded with an increased level of intensity. Most noticeable, players and coaches ran full sprint from drill-to-drill.
The Remains of Summer
Sunshine and heat unsuccessfully tried to stifle the practice field, but as temperatures passed 80 degrees, cool ocean breezes reminded that it was in charge. It was hot but bearable.
On the short field, quarterbacks John David Booty, Marc Sanchez, Michael McDonald, Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain worked with receivers Travon Patterson, Patrick Turner and Damian Williams. The rest of the team broke up into positions and drilled technique.
Pete Carroll worked with the defensive backs, throwing up passes, which were being defended. Carroll gets a B+ for his ability to throw up interceptions.
On the Sidelines
Brian Cushing was noticeably missing during the first part of practice. He walked onto the field during the latter part of practice with a trainer; presumably he was having work done on his sprained ankle. Broderick Green and Trey Patterson continue to pace the sidelines, nursing injuries in anticipation of recovery.
Working Against the Scout Team/Practice Highlights
The defense worked against the scout team led by Mustain. Carroll worked this drill, running around in the defensive backfield. Will Harris, Terrell Thomas, Cary Harris and Vincent Joseph broke up passes. The pass rush applied high pressure to the quarterback, though it remains to be seen how this translates to game time.
At receiver, Patrick Turner looked stronger and caught a couple passes, which indicated he may ready to play full tilt. Vidal Hazelton, Fred Davis, David Ausberry and Ronald Johnson all caught passes.
During the full team practice, Stanley Havili made a nice open field grab. Washington had a big run up the middle but Vincent Joseph ripped the ball out at the end of the play. Kris O'Dowd, who continued to work at center, had one bad shotgun snap but looked good otherwise.
Turn it Up
As practice neared the end, the defense turned up the level enough for Rey Maualuga to get a huge lick on McKnight. On the next play, Travon Patterson got decked by Taylor Mays. Practice ended on a completed pass to Garrett Green.