Sunday, August 12, 2012
Fall camp practice No. 8 notes
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- Here are notes from Sunday's afternoon practice session that won't make it into our other coverage from the day.
Left tackle Aundrey Walker did early work in practice but continued to sit out of team drills with his wrist issue. Middle linebacker Lamar Dawson also sat out, and Hayes Pullard worked at his spot again while Anthony Sarao took over on the weak side.
Defensive end Greg Townsend went down with an apparent ankle injury. Cornerback Torin Harris did not practice with a hamstring issue, but Lane Kiffin expressed confidence he'd be back on the field soon. Offensive lineman David Garness hasn't practiced this camp.
Running back Silas Redd left practice a bit early but did not appear injured.
The status of the O-line
Offensive line coach James Cregg said there are still a lot of uncertainties on the offensive line one week into camp. With Walker still out, freshman Max Tuerk has practiced at left tackle the last two days, but Cregg's not sure that would be the game plan come September.
"We still have a lot of pieces coming in and out," Cregg said. "We need to stay in one piece and work together and find a way to manage ourselves."
Kiffin said moving right tackle Kevin Graf to the left side "probably doesn't make a lot of sense right now," so it seems Tuerk is the legitimate second option for Walker. But Cregg said he hasn't reached the point, yet, where he's worried about Walker's status.
"Not even close," Cregg said. "It's only practice eight of camp, so nothing's even in place, yet. We're just giving guys certain opportunities to compete and seeing what happens."
Cregg did say he thought Walker had a "fantastic" offseason, losing 75 or so pounds, and was practicing well early in the week.
The backup quarterback race
Kiffin said redshirt freshman Cody Kessler and Max Wittek were still neck-and-neck in the race to back up Matt Barkley.
"I feel good about both," Kiffin said. "I really feel that both could go in and play and we would not have to change our offense."
Friday's scrimmage at the Coliseum didn't really tell the Trojans' head coach much about either guy because the run game was the focus of the day, but he said he's been satisfied with both players' continued improvement.
And, Kiffin said, it's not like USC is going to ask its backup to do a lot anyway.
"You're not really expecting him to go in and light it up," Kiffin said. "You just want to make sure he can manage the game."
Final notes: Nickell Robey had a huge hit on Robert Woods near the end of practice that drew oohs and aahs from the sidelines. ... Kiffin said every freshman has been officially cleared to compete this season by the NCAA, save for Darreus Rogers, who's not yet in camp. ... USC has its second two-a-day of fall camp scheduled for Monday, with practices scheduled for 9:20 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.