Two main stories out of the sixth day of fall camp Tuesday: with Demetrius Wright out with a hip pointer, safety Jawanza Starling impressed coach Lane Kiffin for the second straight day and freshman Aundrey Walker moved from right tackle to right guard, where it seems he could start the season opener.
Looking back at Barkley
A hot topic of conversation Tuesday, as it often is, was Barkley's most recent performance -- in this case the Trojans' first scrimmage of the fall, held at the Coliseum Monday.
Asked about it after Tuesday's practice, Kiffin reiterated what he said immediately after the scrimmage Monday: it was just OK, in his eyes.
“There were some things he could have done better, some decision-making,” Kiffin said. “He’s got to continue to run the offense and not try to do too much."
The coach was then asked to clarify what he meant by trying to do too much. Was he, in other words, thinking too much on the field and not letting his instincts guide him into making the right throw?
"I don’t think he’s thinking too much, I just think he tries too hard," Kiffin said. "Sometimes you just get in the moment and you’ve done these plays so many times and you just kinda get bored of completions sometimes, in that setting. In a game you hope that wouldn’t happen.
"And you have to try to keep him out of that.”
For his part, Barkley agreed with Kiffin, saying that he was at times bored with Monday's offense -- although he stopped short of saying he forced any passes on the Coliseum turf, as Kiffin had said earlier.
"It's true, it's true," Barkley said about it being boring. "And we were still pretty limited last night with the playcalling. I was just trying to not be creative but do a little more, rather than just be happy with what the defense gave me."
Two freshmen connected on an 65- or 70-yard strike during team drills: quarterback Cody Kessler and receiver Victor Blackwell. Redshirt freshman Kyle Prater caught back-to-back passes from Barkley at one point, including one impressive leaping grab on the sidelines.
Walk-on Will Andrew had the only interception of practice when he picked off freshman Max Wittek. Running backs Curtis McNeal and Dillon Baxter each broke off a few long runs.
Freshman defensive tackle J.R. Tavai (hamstring), redshirt freshman guard Giovanni Di Poalo (shoulder), junior cornerback Brian Baucham (hamstring), sophomore tight end Christian Thomas and redshirt sophomore cornerback Torin Harris (concussion) were all held out of practice with lingering injuries. Redshirt freshman tight end Xavier Grimble (neck) was limited, sporting a yellow quarterbacks jersey to remind defenders not to him during the practice session.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jesse Scroggins hurt the thumb on his throwing hand late in Monday's scrimmage and didn't participate in Tuesday's practice but is not expected to be out long. Wright watched practice from the sidelines on crutches after suffering the hip pointer at the Coliseum on Monday.
Two players also got hurt during the day Tuesday: middle linebacker Chris Galippo hurt his shoulder late in the team-drill portion of practice but didn't appear to be in significant pain as he sat out the end and safety T.J. McDonald turned his ankle early on and stayed on the field in spite of it.
Freshman linebacker Lamar Dawson replaced Galippo on the first team after he was hurt and performed admirably, earning Kiffin's praise afterward...Receiver Robert Woods and cornerback Isiah Wiley got in 10-second skirmish near the end of practice, but it was quickly broken up by center Khaled Holmes, who restrained Woods. Both players ran laps around the practice field...One of the two fall camp two-a-days is on the docket for Wednesday, with sessions beginning at 8:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.