2013 Fall Camp #5: Notes

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The Trojans were in full pads for the first time today preparing for Thursday's afternoon scrimmage at the Coliseum, which is closed to the public.
  • Yet again, the defense dominated most of the proceedings forcing a handful of turnovers including three interceptions by Cody Kessler and one from Max Wittek.  The secondary is playing much better than expected and limiting the number of big plays, although Kessler and Wittek had one long connection each to Marqise Lee and Victor Blackwell respectively.
  • Dawson-Camp3-McG.jpgLamar Dawson (pictured) snared an interception for the second consecutive day, while Leon McQuay, Ryan Dillard and Hayes Pullard also had picks. 
  • The defensive play of the day was made by OLB Devon Kennard who had a strip sack for a touchdown adding to his impressive Fall Camp.  "Devon would be up there if there was an MVP or something on the whole team so far," said head coach Lane Kiffin, who explained that Kennard has benefited the most from the change in defensive scheme.  "[Outside linebacker] really is his natural position."
  • The first scrimmage will put both the offense and defense to the test, especially the running back group, which finally gets an opportunity to break some live tackles.  Kiffin prefers a two-back system, so the competition for carries is fierce with Silas Redd, Justin Davis, Tre Madden, Buck Allen, D.J. Morgan and Ty Isaac all in the mix.
  • Redd is the returning starter, but he sees the young bucks coming from behind.  "It's pressure, but I'm going into my fourth year, so it's nothing I can't handle," said the senior, who is taking on a leadership position with this unit.  "I want everybody to be successful.  I'm trying to play that big brother role."
  • Redd is still coming back from offseason knee surgery, but he practiced with a yellow non-contact jersey on today.  He is unlikely to play in the scrimmage, according to Kiffin.  "I felt pretty good just getting back into the groove of things," said Redd.  "I don't know the timetable, but I'll definitely be ready for Hawaii."
  • Of the young backs, Justin Davis has been remarkably consistent for a true freshman.  He is a natural runner in this offensive system.  "I just like to be that one cut type of back," said Davis, who admires Texans' RB Aryan Foster. "In high school, one of my favorite plays was the outside zone which is very similar to this offense, so I love this offense."
  • As the grind of camp sets in, the injuries are starting to pile up.  While injury specifics are not disclosed, LT Aundrey Walker, WR De'von Flournoy, RB Ty Isaac, RB D.J. Morgan, S Su'a Cravens and DL Leonard Williams were among the walking wounded.
  • Without Walker again, Chad Wheeler has moved up into the starting left tackle spot.  "Chad looks really good over there.  Obviously, tomorrow will be a really big test," said Kiffin, who chose to slot in Wheeler instead of shuffling his line by moving Kevin Graf or Max Tuerk.
  • Here is Kiffin who is looking forward to Thursday's scrimmage...

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