The Trojans held the first morning practice of “two-a-days” on Sunday morning with a spirited goal-line and short-yardage drill in full pads.
The defense had a solid fourth-down stop by the line to keep the offense out of the end zone early, but Cody Kessler, Buck Allen and the offense were very efficient in red zone work later in the drill. Ajene Harris also came up with a pair of impressive catches, including one touchdown grab.
“I would say it was one of the better days for the offense,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I really liked the way they responded to the way the defense got them. I can’t wait to get back to watch the film and then come back out tonight to have a light workout.”
There was some movement on the D-line today, primarily at nose tackle. Antwaun Woods suffered an elbow injury on Friday and will miss 1-2 weeks, Kenny Bigelow is out for the season with a knee injury and Cody Temple suffered a concussion on Friday and has not been cleared to return. The result of those missing bodies had Delvon Simmons move to the nose with walk-on tight end Teddy Baker flipping over to provide depth. The interior depth wasn’t helped when Leonard Williams left practice with ice on his shoulder, the positive news for USC fans being that it was the opposite shoulder of the one that bothered Williams last year.
Along the offensive line, the Trojans are still waiting for the full-time return of veteran guards Aundrey Walker and Jordan Simmons, both of whom are returning from injuries and have been limited in action during fall camp.
“We’re keeping Jordan to one practice a day right now so he will go tonight,” Sarkisian said. "Jordan had a little swelling in his knee so we figured the practice tonight will be a little lighter workload for him. With Aundrey, he’s still feeling pain and he’s not bouncing back the way we hoped. He’s missing valuable reps right now that the young guys are getting and they’re getting better and better and better, so at some point he’s going to have to make the decision, ‘I’m either going to push myself and go for it or I’m going to have to accept the role that I’m in.’
“Damien Mama has made great strides, Viane has made strides at guard and Toa is getting work with the 1’s at guard and the 2’s at center. We need eight linemen for this offense, 10 is ideal but we can work with eight.”
More injury notes
Some other players who went to the sideline with injuries on Sunday were linebacker Jabari Ruffin, wide receiver Darreus Rogers and receiver/cornerback Adoree' Jackson. Ruffin tweaked his knee according to Sarkisian, on a play where he picked off a Max Browne pass but was drilled at the end of his return by Justin Davis. Sarkisian said that Rogers’ Achilles tightened up, and that Jackson’s foot was stepped on. The Trojans head coach said that none of the injuries appeared to be serious, but that he would have a more detailed update following Monday’s workout.
Kevon Seymour, who was sidelined early in camp while recovering from a stomach flu/possible food poisoning, went through his second full practice of fall camp on Sunday, and he looked to be moving well.