Written by Stephanie Graves, USCTrojans.com Blog Contributor
- Going into Day 5, the Men of Troy donned full pads for their first big test of camp. Veterans and rookies alike had the opportunity to display their knowledge of the playbook less than a week into 2010 fall camp at today’s scrimmage.
- Because of the importance of today, the sidelines were the fullest they have been all camp with immediate families coming to watch their sons’ first appearance this year playing for the Trojans.
- During pre-scrimmage team drills on Brian Kennedy field, freshman quarterback Jesse Scroggins showed his potential when he found fullback Stanley Havili for an impressive gain.
- Due to the scrimmage, normal drills were cut short, but some injured players used this as a time to get limited but important no-contact practice. Among them was freshman tailback D.J. Morgan, who has yet participate in a full practice due to a knee injury coming out of Taft High (Woodland Hills).
- Other players sidelined during the scrimmage due to nagging injuries: Kyle Prater (hip), Martin Coleman (concussion), Blake Ayles (hamstring), Brandon Carswell (thigh), De’Von Flournoy (shoulder). Armond Armstead (dehydration) and Stanley Havili (hamstring).
- When the scrimmage began, the lauded defensive line showed they can live up to the hype as they overpowered the first team offense during the first half. To put in perspective how much power lies in the defensive line, normally unstoppable tailback Allen Bradford temporarily met his match as he was pushed back for a few yards on an early carry.
- Overall, “Tailback U” still lived up to its name today as both C.J. Gable and Marc Tyler showed, when healthy, they can consistently contribute to the offense.
- However, the most spectacular rushing TD of the day came from Curtis McNeal, who wiggled through a few holes, stayed upright despite being hit twice, broke loose and ran 30 yards to the promised land to be greeted heartily by his fellow offensive teammates.
- Jordan Cameron’s switch from wide receiver to tight end in the spring proved to a good one today. He caught 8 passes for 96 yards. The increased competition from the talent-filled freshman class has led to Cameron’s overall improvement, Kiffin said. However, his blocking is still a work in progress.
- On the receiving side of things, freshman wideout Robert Woods lived up to yesterday’s comparison to Steve Smith with several solid gains for a total of 56 yards on his 4 receptions, while senior David Ausberry put two touchdowns in the books today (a 5-yarder from Mitch Mustain followed by a 10-yarder from Matt Barkley).
- Kiffin praised Mustain for picking up right where he left off in the spring. Mustain was 23-of-35 with 231 yards and 1 touchdown. Kiffin noted that while most coaches put together two gameplans, one for the starting quarterback and one for the backup, he is pleased to say he only needs one.
- Barkley went 9-of-15 for 127 yards (and also one touchdown).
- The defense even had a chance to put points up on the board as redshirt sophomore walk-on linebacker Augusto Alonso had a 35-yard interception return.
- Hang out on the sidelines for a moment and one can discover the true depth of heart this year’s team has for one another. Constant cheering and encouragement can be heard throughout the entire practice and scrimmage, most notably from Barkley, who never presses the “off” button on his leadership role.
Jordan Cameron’s switch to tight end is opening some eyes.