Wednesday Practice Report

On Wednesday, Pete Carroll praised the development of senior wide receiver Patrick Turner, who has been an integral part of the Trojans improved passing game. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Hpward Jones Field.

Wide Receiver Depth Gives Offense a Boost

The USC offense has looked nearly unstoppable in the first two games of the 2008 season, putting up 87 points, and a lot of that success can be attributed to the emergence of the much improved wide receiver corps.

With a year of game experience and the addition of Damian Williams in the rotation, the Trojans now have good depth at the receiver spot.

"It's the best it has ever been," Pete Carroll replied when asked about the depth at wide receiver. "We have twice as many guys that can play.

"We have really relied on the big X and the Z, whether it was Keary (Colbert) and Mike (Williams) or Steve (Smith) and Dwayne (Jarrett). Now, all of those guys make plays. They all will be contributors. I think all of these guys will make plays before it's over with."

In the first two games of the 2008 season, Ronald Johnson and Damian Williams have flashed their big play ability, which was an area that was lacking just a year ago.

"He feels like Steve Smith out here," Carroll said of Damian Williams, who leads the team in receptions (10), receiving yards (140), and touchdown receptions (2). "We feel like he is consistently a guy that can find the open spots and get himself in the right place."

"He's a natural. He's got a great feel for things," Mark Sanchez added. "He deserves every bit of this because he works harder than anybody. He's in the film room late asking questions and it's paying off for him."

Pete Carroll also pointed to the development of Patrick Turner, who has taken on more of a leadership role this season, as a reason for the improvement at the position.

"You can really see Patrick Turner taking over at the receiver spot," Carroll said of the senior who has six catches and a touchdown. "I think he is feeling the leadership position more than he has in the past.

"I think we are seeing Patrick at his best now and it's exciting to see that coming around."

Notes from the Field

Stanley Havili, Damian Williams, Everson Griffen and Marc Tyler were among the players that didn't participate in practice on Wednesday.

Joe McKnight returned to the practice field today.

Curtis McNeal received a lot of carries in practice today and showed the expected rust early but rebound with some nice plays late.

McNeal was stopped for a loss by Jurrell Casey his first time touching the ball and fumbled a few plays later, but broke off a nice run during 11-on-11 and ran over Omari Crittenden on another.

Clay Matthews sacked Mark Sanchez during 11-on-11.

Jordan Cameron made a tremendous one-handed catch on the sidelines on a pass from Mitch Mustain and later elevated over a defender for a leaping grab.


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