In 2007, the USC offense lacked a true big play threat at the receiver position. One player that has really jumped out with his big play ability and appears ready to take on that role in 2008 is Travon Patterson.
"He has really matured out here," Carroll said of the redshirt sophomore wide receiver. "There was a time when he played kind of like a little guy and would get banged around but he is not like that anymore.
"He's just grown up in the system and he looks very good now."
Patterson missed the majority of the 2007 season after suffering a foot injury but has returned to the practice field determined to make his presence felt among the crowded receiving corps.
"He's very confident," Carroll said of Patterson, who made several nice catches at practice on Tuesday. "He plays very good football, and he's shown an explosive playmaking ability, and we plan on using him."
With Travon Patterson, Damian Williams and Ronald Johnson all poised to have an impact this season, the Trojans are now well equipped to stretch the defense and provide some excitement in the passing game.
"I think this is the fastest group of guys that we have had with Damian (Williams), Ronald Johnson and him (Travon Patterson)," said Carroll.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez showed some rust today, throwing a pair of interceptions during team drills.
"There's some rust in there but this is a good defense, so I am not surprised that happened," Carroll said when asked about Sanchez's turnovers.
While Sanchez did have the two turnovers, he looked very comfortable in the pocket and connected with Ronald Johnson on a 65-yard touchdown pass.
Sanchez will meet with team doctors Tuesday night and is expected to be officially cleared to start the opener against Virginia.
Notes from the Field
Baucham worked on agility drills with the training staff during practice and looked to have good mobility.
Wide receiver Travon Patterson really shined in the passing game today. Patterson had a couple of acrobatic catches and showed his speed and elusiveness after the catch.
Jeff Byers was really getting after the defense during 11-on-11. Byers continually got down field to get a piece of the linebackers and defensive backs.
David Buehler connected on a 59-yard field goal with about 10 yards to spare. He has been tremendous to this point.
Mark Sanchez and Ronald Johnson connected on a 65-yard touchdown pass. Johnson got behind the defense and Sanchez hit him with a perfect deep ball.
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