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USC Football News and Notes 8/26

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Aaron Corp was back on the practice field yesterday and it would appear that he is right back in the thick of things to win the starting job.

Many of us feel that this is a mere formality. If Corp is healthy he will start if he is not then Barkley gets the nod. It is as simple as that. It all depends on how Corp does this week. Personally, I think there has been far too much made about this already. If was Corp never injured this would not even be an issue. Barkley would have got some reps but this was Corp's job to lose no question.

And based on what I am reading (outside of the drama that some in the press are trying to whip up) I really don't see it as much of a contest...

Corp said he was happy with his first full practice since suffering a cracked fibula Aug. 10. He even ended it with a quarterback sneak.

Corp wore a specially designed brace on his left knee. He moved well on dropbacks but did not have any opportunities to get outside the pocket and run.

Asked if he was going full speed, Corp said: "About as full speed as I could be. I can do everything right now that playing quarterback at USC (requires) me to do. So I feel good, and it’s only going to get better."

Meanwhile, Corp’s competitor, freshman Matt Barkley, threw a pair of interceptions. One came on a new play the offense hadn’t practiced before, the other on a screen pass that defensive end Everson Griffen leaped for and snatched out of the air.

Well, it is all about protecting the ball and Barkley is still having some issues doing just that.

Two things are on my mind...the season opener against SJSU and the game in Columbus. I get the impression that many are not all that worried about SJSU. That would be a mistake as this will be an important test for new QB and relatively new defense. Michigan looked past App. St. a couple of years ago and we all know how that turned out...

USC needs to have a flawless game in the opener to make sure they have worked out the kinks before the Ohio St. game. There is no week off in between the two games so SC needs get right to it once the SJSU game is over. If there are some questions then they need to get addressed fast.

This is from The LAT...

Corp's initial success in his return from a cracked left fibula adds another layer of intrigue to a quarterback drama that began when Mark Sanchez departed to the NFL in January.

Corp, wearing a custom brace on his left leg, worked primarily with reserves as freshman Matt Barkley took most of the first-team snaps.

Corp did not appear limited in his mobility and completed the vast majority of his passes during seven-on-seven and full-team scrimmage drills. He did not have a pass intercepted.

"I was able to do some good things," he said. "I even got a quarterback sneak in at the end."

Coach Pete Carroll described Corp's return as "a big step forward," but reiterated that there was no timetable for deciding who would start the opener.

However, Saturday's mock game at the Coliseum looms as Corp's final proving ground.

If Barkley keeps throwing INT's in practice then this is pretty much over in my eyes. I think Pete Carroll feels the same way as well but I understand that he needs to keep the pressure on.

I am actually surprised that Barkley is still trying to push things. All he has to do is make plays not mistakes. I also think that even if Corp is not 100% Pete Carroll would still pick Corp over Barkley because protecting the football is so crucial in the coaching staff's mind.

Saturday looks to be the final hurdle provided Corp doesn't have a setback during practice this week.

USC coach Pete Carroll said Saturday's scrimmage at the Coliseum will be the ultimate test for Corp.

"He'll get a chance to show what he can do," Carroll said. "This was a big step for us. Saturday's a real important day for him."

Carroll said he did not know when he would name a starter although it is expected to be this week.

"We'll wait until we know what we need to know," he said. "This is a good challenge for the coaching staff to do this right."

We'll see.....

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Here is some other news from around camp...

Cornerback Shareece Wright still needs clearance before he gets on the field. This is a little disappointing. Having missed most of last season because of injury, I would have thought Wright would have made sure that his academics were up to snuff. Wright will be a key component on the defense next season and not having him on the field hurts SC

Damian Williams returns to practice. Nice to see DWill back on the field, he will be a key player in the final two weeks before the season starts. Whomever starts at QB I have no doubt that they will be relieved to #18 out on the wing. Williams really was fun to watch last season!

USC has new Kicker! Jordan Congdon gets the nod at kicker as Pete Carroll rewards the walk-on for his hard work with a scholarship. Watching Buehler boom the ball on the Dallas Cowboys makes you appreciate just how important the kicker position is. It is a lot tougher for teams to sustain drives when they are always starting on their 20-yard line. Here is hoping that Congdon can keep the sting alive!

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Here are some links from around the net...

Ranking the Pac-10 receivers - Pac-10 - ESPN

Daily Trojan - With Corp near recovery, other Trojans are sidelined

Daily Trojan - Defense still has plenty of swagger

USC training camp review: Top newcomer - OCR

USC training camp review: Most improved - OCR

Oldtimer's Take: Scrimmage Edition
SC Oldtimer offers a solid write up...

Conference Preview: Pac 10 " Over The Pylon
Some good stuff here from Over the Pylon

USC now 'Quarterback U'
We have this before...

A curious Butkus Watch List - Pac-10 - ESPN