2014 Spring Practice #9: Notes

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The Trojans enjoyed a spirited and physical practice in front of a large crowd thanks to Swim With Mike being next door.
  • USC head coach Steve Sarkisian quoted Jim Harbaugh's favorite saying to sum up a beautiful day in Troy.  In a team meeting before practice, he asked the team, "Who has it better than us?"  The Trojans responded, "Noooobody."
  • Much like last Saturday, the Trojans had a live tackling portion of practice.  The defense dominated the run game, including JC transfer Claude Pelon recording a tackle-for-loss, but the offense opened up the passing game capped by a long TD catch by Nelson Agholor who made a nice adjustment on the ball.
  • Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is tasked with creating a physical defense despite few opportunities to live tackle due to depth concerns. "Our effort has been good. We've just got to get better," said Wilcox about tackling. "You can do it in drills all you want but there is nothing like a live tackling period, so we have to be able to transfer those things over and make it show."
  • Facing an uptempo offense in every practice, the defense has the habit of coming out on fire, but fading late. "We've got to continue emphasizing finishing practice because that is where you get up in the play count with plays 100 to 120," said Wilcox. "That's where we have not been as good."
  • Redshirt freshman CB Chris Hawkins came up with an interception during the scrimmage portion. "Chris is getting a lot of reps which has been good for him," said Wilcox. "He's got a real high football IQ. I think he's got good instincts. He just has to continue to develop as a technician."
  • Wilcox also praised OLB Scott Starr who is running with the first team as J.R. Tavai sits out with an injury. He likes his "hybrid body type" and said, "He's into football, which is important. I'm excited about Scott."
  • Here is Sarkisian's press conference which featured a lot of praise for offensive coordinator Clay Helton:

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