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Fall Camp Chronicles: Second Scrimmage Marred by Injuries

USC's first-team offense really came to play at the Coliseum, but several key players didn't finish.

After struggling to find any rhythm during the Trojans' first scrimmage last week, USC's first-team offense marched right down the field moving the football for a pair of methodical touchdowns to start Monday night.

Running in a live, "full-speed" 100-play scrimmage, USC was able to physically test multiple units on offense, defense and especially during special teams.

  • Lamar Dawson (knee), Anthony Brown (elbow) and Jordan Simmons (knee) did not participate in the scrimmage.
  • Tre Madden (turf toe) left mid-way through, while Nelson Agholor got limited action, which head coach Steve Sarkisian said both were minor and would each be able to play if the season opener was that night.
  • Both Adoree' Jackson and JuJu Smith made huge efforts in the return game. Jackson slipped out of some tackles for a nice punt return, while JuJu galloped across the field for on a kick return touchdown.
  • Sark was really pleased from a special teams standpoint: especially from the Adoree' and JuJu returns. The Trojans put quality players on the scout team to ensure "game-like" feel on special teams.
  • Sark was also encouraged by the way his first-team offense dominated the second-team, which led to some dominant running by both Buck Allen and Tre Madden.
  • Linebackers Michael Hutchings and Anthony Sarao did not finish practice. Hutchings, who arguably could have been the defensive MVP of the scrimmage, injured his left shoulder and walked out early. Sarao, one of the starting middle linebackers, was being evaluated on his right ankle.
  • Freshman defensive back John Plattenburg III also was injured. Plattenburg III, who has been singled out for his strong play by nearly every coach and player when discussing the secondary, tweaked his hamstring early and did not return. Steve Sarkisian also said that offensive guard Khaliel Rodgers would have his knee tested after he was also nicked up.
  • Two big bodies that did participate were defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Antwaun Woods. Each made a solid impact while running with the first team, but did not yet see a full workload.
  • Su'a Cravens played the SAM outside linebacker position with the first-team defense, then seamlessly switched over to safety during the second-team reps.
  • Scott Felix, who runs at 100% nearly every play, tackled Cody Kessler (accidentally) after the ball was released. No harm or foul, according to Kessler. Felix was very apologetic and Kessler encouraged the aggressiveness.
  • Aundrey Walker returned to practice seeing a large majority of his reps at right tackle, which resulted in some sloppy missed assignments in pass protection.
  • According to Steve Sarkisian, USC ran 100 plays resulting in six touchdowns. Coach did admit directly following the scrimmage that they are not quite game ready, but much closer than last week.
  • USC has the day off on Tuesday and will then begin game-week preparations before the season opener August 30th against Fresno State.
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was on display at the end of practice once more. Defensive line coach Chris Wilson took a pair of water/Gatorade buckets from his lineman while Max Browne also doused himself with one of the buckets of ice water that was going to be poured out after practice.