Thursday Practice: Sanchez Throws

The Trojans' practice on Thursday was filled with hard-hitting action, a Mark Sanchez update, injury news and even a little rain. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Howard Jones Field.

Sanchez Throws

Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain continue to battle for the starting quarterback spot while Mark Sanchez is sidelined, but the big news of the day came when the injured Sanchez emerged and started throwing passes on the sidelines.

Sanchez, who suffered a dislocated kneecap just last Friday, went through some agility drills with the training staff and even dropped back and threw a few passes while wearing a noticeably smaller knee brace.

After practice, Pete Carroll said he is encouraged by the progress that Sanchez has made.

"He did a lot more, I mean he was over there playing catch," Carroll said of the injured quarterback. "They are doing a real good job of getting that swelling out of there. That's really what the issue is right now.

"He's kind of bouncing around a little bit and throwing the ball so we are getting closer. He's going to make a speedy recovery."

Tyler's Second Straight Big Day

The USC coaches know what kind of players they have in Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable and Joe McKnight, so the focus of fall camp at the tailback position has been to get Marc Tyler, Allen Bradford and Broderick Green the majority of the snaps.

Tyler, who redshirted in 2007 while recovering from a leg injury that he suffered in high school, is getting his first real opportunity to show his skills in the crowded backfield.

"You can't come into college hurt straight from high school and expect to contribute, especially at a school like this," Tyler said when asked about his freshman season.

Now healthy and with a year of experience under his belt Tyler has looked like a different player on the practice field.

"I feel like I did before I broke my leg," Tyler said. "I feel like my moves are all there and I'm getting my cuts back."

The 6-2, 220-pound tailback has raised the level of his play the last two days and looks much more comfortable in the Trojans offense.

"I feel like I have matured a lot. Redshirting last year and being on the service team, going against Brian Cushing and Sedrick Ellis and all of them everyday really helped me and toughened me up," explained Tyler.

"I feel more confident knowing my plays and with pass blocking."

Notes from the Field

Freshman wide receiver Brice Butler returned to the practice field today and picked up right where he left off, catching a touchdown pass from Garrett Green in the corner of the endzone.

Everson Griffen and Travon Patterson also returned to practice today.

Griffen made his presence felt early in practice with a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss.

Joe McKnight was limited in practice today after having two fingers accidentally slammed in a door. McKnight fielded punts but then was limited by the coaches to give his injured fingers a rest.

"We kept him out but he wanted to go," Coach Carroll said of McKnight.

Linebacker Michael Morgan suffered a dislocated shoulder while trying to make a tackle along the goal line.

Marc Tyler had another productive day today making several nice runs including gains of 23 and 28 yards on back-to-back plays.

Allen Bradford had the play of the day when he bounced outside and ran up the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown run during 11-on-11. Bradford also looked good during pass protection drills stopping Brian Cushing on two separate plays.

Freshman Khaled Holmes got some work with the first-team offensive line at left guard.

Ronald Johnson caught a short touchdown pass.

T.J. Bryant looked very good today in pass coverage. Bryant had two straight pass deflections during 11-on-11.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden
at kevin@scplaybook.com


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