LOS ANGELES -- The Trojans practiced on Dedeaux Field today, primarily on the outfield grass, as Lane Kiffin said the team had torn up the grass on Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field so far in camp.
Kiffin said two things really jumped out at him today; the number of explosive plays given up by the defense over the top and the number of fumbles from the offense.
“We had really been doing well in terms of not giving up big plays,” Kiffin said. “It was really the best we had been looking in that area since we got here but today the offense did a good job in that area. On the other side, we had been protecting the ball fairly well but the defense was able to get three fumbles today -- they did a good job of stripping the ball.”
One player who stood out was wide receiver De'Von Flournoy, who Kiffin said had his best practice of fall. Flournoy -- who is in the lead spot right now for the No. 3 receiver role -- had a beautiful 25-yard touchdown catch from Matt Barkley against coverage from Demetrius Wright. He also made a nice leaping grab over Anthony Brown.
“We need this from De’Von,” Kiffin said. “He’s worked hard behind some really good players and put himself in this position. If you look at our roster, we don’t have a lot of veteran backups who have seen significant playing time so it’s good to see from a guy like him.”
Kiffin mentioned the fact that freshman wide receiver Nelson Agholor has also put together a couple nice practices in a row.
The Trojans were still banged up in many areas. All three starting linebackers were out once again with Hayes Pullard, Lamar Dawson and Dion Bailey all on the sideline, although Bailey was not wearing the sling on his shoulder by the end of the day. Also sitting out were J.R. Tavai, Greg Townsend Jr., Aundrey Walker and Junior Pomee.
Morgan Breslin took reps with the first unit at defensive end with both Tavai and Townsend out. He had a tackle-for-loss in an early team drill. Defensive tackle George Uko batted down a Barkley pass at the line and almost made a leaping catch of the ball.
Javorious Allen had an impressive 25-yard run down the left side, but the most impressive running back of the day was clearly Silas Redd. His top play was a catch out of the backfield when Barkley hit him in stride and he weaved through the defense for a long gain. Redd did drop one pass over the middle after a hard hit from Dallas Kelley.
Brown returned to action and got plenty of time with the first unit at corner opposite Robey. Jawanza Starling had an interception in the end zone off Max Wittek and a recovered fumble after George Farmer put the ball on the ground. Kevon Seymour had an impressive pass break-up during team drill of a pass from Wittek, while his fellow freshman corner Devian Shelton batted down a pass in the end zone. Both freshman corners continue to play well.