Sunday Practice Report

Jeff Byers, Alex Parsons, Tyron Smith and Blake Ayles all returned to an offense that is getting healthier and gaining confidence with each practice. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from USC's practice on Sunday.

McKnight Suffers Elbow Injury

Tailback Joe McKnight spent all of Sunday's practice driving Mark Sanchez around in his golf cart after hyperextending his right elbow in last night's 93-play scrimmage at the Coliseum.

"He hyperextended his elbow last night. It's unfortunate Joe keeps coming up with something," Carroll said of McKnight, who also injured two fingers when he had his hand accidentally slammed in a door.

McKnight suffered the injury when he put his hand down to try and brace himself while running with the ball.

"I'm disappointed for Joe that he can't get out here," Coach Carroll said. "He has missed a lot of practice already.

"I don't think it's going to be but a couple of days though. I don't think it is a serious deal."

Offense Getting Healthy

The Trojans have struggled with a good deal of injuries throughout fall camp that have caused some headaches for the coaching staff as well as depth problems.

On Sunday, the Trojans got some good news on the injury front as Jeff Byers, Alex Parsons, Tyron Smith and Blake Ayles all returned to action.

"We had a chance to get a bunch of guys back on the practice today which was great," Coach Carroll said.

The offensive line will get a major boost with the return of Alex Parsons, Tyron Smith and the veteran leader of the group, Jeff Byers, who has been officially cleared for contact by the team doctors.

"Jeff Byers has been cleared to practice with us now which we are really excited about," said Carroll. "We are going to break him slowly but we are thrilled to get him back.

"We get his experience back and his toughness. His approach to the game is really a great addition for the young guys up front."

Coach Carroll was pleased with the play of the offensive line at Saturday's scrimmage and the return of Byers, Smith and Parsons will add to a group that is gaining confidence with each practice.

"It's a good feeling to see these guys back on the practice field getting their reps," Carroll said. "We kind of got stronger today which is really cool."

Recruit Watch

USC commit Chris Metcalf was at practice today. The four-star defensive back from Compton High School spent the majority of his time watching Rocky Seto put the defensive back through various drills.

Metcalf recently had an impressive showing at the B2G Camp, where he roamed the defensive backfield with fellow USC commits Byron Moore and T.J. McDonald.

Notes from the Field

Happy Returns: Alex Parsons, Jeff Byers, Tyron Smith and Blake Ayles all returned to the practice field today.

Walking Wounded: Joe McKnight, Mark Sanchez, Michael Morgan, Matt Meyer, Trey Henderson, Chris Galippo, Michael Reardon and Cary Harris were among the players that didn't participate in practice today.

First-team offensive line: (LT) Charles Brown, (LG) Jeff Byers, (C) Kris O'Dowd (RG) Zack Heberer, (RT) Butch Lewis.

While Cary Harris is out with a dislocated shoulder, Kevin Thomas and Josh Pinkard both looked very good at cornerback on Sunday. Pinkard made a great break on a pass by Mitch Mustain and came up with the interception.

Aaron Corp had one of his better practices and appears to be gaining confidence. Corp connected with Damian Williams for a 20-yard touchdown pass early in practice and later hit fullback Stanley Havili for a 15-yard touchdown.

Mitch Mustain also had a pair of 30-yard touchdown passes. Mustain connected with Stanley Havili and Ronald Johnson for the scores.

Ronald Johnson really looked explosive with the ball in his hands today. The sophomore wide receiver really looked good after the catch.

Averell Spicer and Jurrell Casey both had quarterback sacks.

Garrett Green connected with Jordan Cameron for the biggest play of the day. Cameron pulled in the pass and raced past the defense for a 50-yard touchdown reception.

Fili Moala looked solid against the run. Moala stopped C.J. Gable for a 2-yard loss 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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