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Fall Camp Chronicles: Resting Up For USC's First Scrimmage

Many big-name players had the day off from practice.

Cody Kessler wants the offense to run fast.
Cody Kessler wants the offense to run fast.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Eight days of Fall Camp in the books, and the Trojans will really get a taste of how things have come together during the first fully-padded scrimmage on Wednesday night. Tuesday was not a real physical, nor mentally taxing practice at Howard Jones Field, but tempo was definitely the conversation starter all afternoon.

  • Adoree' Jackson, Darreus Rogers, Leonard Williams and Antwaun Woods were all held out of practice today. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said that most of these guys would be ready to go, if this was game week.
  • Bad news on the groin front. Su'a Cravens was held out of practice because of a groin issue and freshman tight end Bryce Dixon tweaked his groin near the end of practice.
  • Sarkisian said the Trojans would ideally like to run about 80 plays per game, averaging a new play following a tackle, at an efficient rate of about 10-13 seconds.
  • Sark said Wednesday's scrimmage will be about "starting to put things all together." Whether that be special situations, game-like moments and special teams units to get important reps, important aspects will be covered.
  • Cody Kessler really feels that the Trojans' starting offensive line -- Chad WheelerToa Lobendahn - Max TuerkKhaliel Rodgers - Zach Banner -- have really started to gel well in practice.
  • The Trojans focused on two-point conversions in practice and the offense scored on all four opportunities. One of those probably would have been a sack by Quinton Powell, but Cody Kessler was able to convert.
  • George Farmer made one of the best plays of the day, leaping over Josh Shaw in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The play really impressed Kessler, who feels Farmer's focus level is at an all-time high this season.
  • Max Browne threw the football well in passing drills, really making sharp throws on a pair of option reads. What honestly has put Cody Kessler ahead in the QB discussion has been his ability to make three and four different reads on the same play, something Browne, a redshirt freshmen, still struggles with from time to time.
  • Andre Heidari and blueshirt lefty Matt Boermeester really struggled kicking the football with badly shanked attempts that went far left and far right, missing the netting all together on occasion.
  • OG Jordan Simmons was back in action but went to the training table about halfway through practice after hobbling on the field during team 11-on-11 drills.
  • Offensive line coach Tim Drevno has been impressed with the play from Damien Mama at guard, mentioning Mama is moving much better now (as opposed to on Day One) for a massive lineman of his stature.
  • Chad Wheeler and Anthony Sarao got in the best back-and-forth battle as the tackle chipped up to linebacker to finish out a block. Fighting free for position, Sarao threw a forearm shiver Wheeler's way but the big lineman would have none of it and quickly shoved Sarao two yards back.

COACH SARK VIDEO