Friday Practice: Corp Eyes Tuesday Return

USC quarterback Aaron Corp took the field in full pads for the first time since injuring his leg on Aug. 10th. The sophomore signal caller participated in seven-on-seven drills, completing 4-of-6 passes and said he hopes to return by Tuesday. Look inside for the details.

Corp Eyes Tuesday Return

USC quarterback Aaron Corp made another step in his road to recovering from a cracked fibula on Friday.

"I thought it was great to get him out here. He ran on the treadmill this morning and he handled it fine," Pete Carroll said. "He's made progress everyday and not had any setbacks, so that's all really good reports."

The sophomore signal caller took the field in full pads for the first time since injuring his leg on Aug. 10th, and participated in seven-on-seven drills.

Corp completed 4-of-6 pass attempts including a perfect strike to Travon Patterson for a touchdown.

After practice, Corp said that he was pleased with the way his leg responded to the work.

"It's fine. I feel good. I have been riding the bike to stay in shape a little bit," Corp said. "I don't feel like I am out of breath or anything."

Corp's mobility remains limited, and he also experienced some trouble throwing to his left, because it forces him to open up his knee.

"He knows he can't go. We did one little boot pass with him and he just couldn't get his legs underneath him yet," Carroll said. "It was a good indicator for him."

While Corp continues his rehab, freshman Matt Barkley will once again receive all the first-team reps during the Trojans' scrimmage on Saturday.

"We are going to give Barkley all of that and kind of fill him up as much as we can," Carroll said. "We are going to give him a ton of reps again and give him all of the experience that we can."

The Trojans' have a rare two-day break following Saturday's scrimmage and will return to Howard Jones Field on Tuesday, which is the day that Corp has targeted for his return.

"I think this weekend will be huge for him," Carroll said. "He will get rehabbed all weekend, but coming back on Tuesday will be a big deal for him. We'll see where he is."

Corp added: "That's when I want to be back because we don't have practice on Sunday or Monday, so that seems like early next week would be a good time to get back."

While a Tuesday return would be ideal, Carroll doesn't want to rush the process and risk further injury.

"In all seriousness, there is no rush," Carroll said. "We have to do this right and get back so that he is OK and safe and we are going to do that.

"I got to get the OK that they will let him go. The idea is that we would like for him to start practicing full speed Tuesday and see what happens."

If Corp isn't able to return on Tuesday then his chances of starting against San Jose State diminish with each passing practice.

"All that I can do is ask for the opportunity and I am going to get that," Corp said. "If I perform well then I will play and if he is playing better then he will play.

"You just have to put it that way and go out and try to play your best."

Hot Reads

- Kristofer O'Dowd, Averell Spicer, Nick Howell, T.J. McDonald, Patrick Hall and Marc Tyler were among the players that didn't participate in practice.

- With the real possibility that freshman Matt Barkley could be the Trojans' starting quarterback against San Jose State on Sept. 5th, one of the obvious questions is, how would the young signal caller handle the game plan?

Carroll explained that learning the installation during fall camp is more difficult than learning the weekly game plan, which is much more limited and focused based on the opponent.

"Right now, we have everything installed. Everything that we have done from the first day is still available to us," Carroll said. "In a game plan you don't do that. We have maybe half as much variety of things that we would so, it's actually harder now than it is in the game plan to hold the information and be accountable for it.

"It actually should be easier."

- Freshman wide receiver De'Von Flournoy has been very impressive this fall making big plays in both of the Trojans' scrimmages, but Carroll explained on Friday that the first-year wideout is having a hard time learning the playbook.

"He has very good hands and is a very bright kid, but he has not learned the offense," Carroll said. "He is not up with it right now and that is going to restrict him. He is really struggling with formations and where to get."

- Carroll said he will be particularly interested in the play of Matt Barkley and the defensive ends that are vying to replace the injured Armond Armstead during Saturday's scrimmage.

"I would like to see Barkley do well. It will be interesting to see the defensive end spot that Armond (Armstead) was playing," Carroll said. "Wes Horton, Malik (Jackson) and Nick Perry and those guys are going to take a shot at that and show us who is the guy that wants to claim that position as a starter.

"Right now, they would all play if we had a game today. They would all rotate. They have different strengths."

- Friday Highlights: Matt Barkley hit Travon Patterson for a 97-yard touchdown pass during 11-on-11. Patterson beat T.J. Bryant and Will Harris on the play. He also pulled in a touchdown pass from Aaron Corp. Everson Griffen and Jurrell Casey both had quarterback sacks and Malik Jackson added a tackle for loss. Curtis McNeal raced up the middle untouched for a 22-yard touchdown. Brandon Carswell had a 12-yard touchdown pass from Barkley.

- Hit of the Day: Freshman safety Jawanza Starling supplied the hit of the day on De'Von Flournoy. Flournoy raced up the seam and looked to have a touchdown reception, but Starling lowered his shoulder and separated the receiver from the ball, saving a touchdown in the process.

- The Trojans have practice at 9 a.m. and a scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Saturday followed by the Salute to Troy.


Matt Barkley will receive all the first-team reps in Saturday's scrimmage.


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



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