2014 Fall Camp #15: Notes

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The final week of Fall Camp is winding down...
  • No new injury news today.  Freshman OL Toa Lobendahn got a rest day since he has been pushed harder than most of the offensive linemen playing guard with the first team and center with the second team. 
  • USC-Football-FallCamp-2014-2093.jpgLong snapper Zach Smith sprained his wrist, so Peter McBride is handling the field goal and punt snapping duties.  Backup QB Conner Sullivan has taken over as the holder on field goals and extra points.
  • Sarkisian referred to punter Kris Albarado as "a weapon" because the second year starter has been booming the ball throughout Fall Camp.  Andre Heidari has won the kicking battle despite a strong push from Matt Boermeester. "I think Andre has done a really nice job," said head coach Steve Sarkisian. "We have a lot of confidence, and I think he has a lot of confidence right now."
  • In a sequence that would make any USC fan optimistic about the future, Adoree' Jackson and JuJu Smith made back-to-back diving catches on sideline fade routes. 
  • Later in the practice, Victor Blackwell caught a bomb for a touchdown. "Cody was throwing the ball down the field, which was a point of emphasis in today's practice, and guys were making plays on the ball down the field, which was encouraging," said Sarkisian. The USC offense is designed to run the ball effectively to setup the deep ball.
  • The defense is rotating a lot of bodies to combat the fast-paced offense.  Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox explained that some players will be taken out when they need a break and others will be on a substitution pattern. "Hayes Pullard is going to be on the field.  If Hayes needs a break then we will sub him," he said.
  • The faster offensive tempo could put more pressure on USC's defense because the Trojans are not stressing time of possession and the game as a whole will likely have more snaps.  If it becomes a fitness contest, Sarkisian will take his guys. "I'll be shocked if there is a better conditioned team in the country," he said.
  • Sarkisian likes his developing depth defensively as he called out freshmen Olajuwon Tucker and Uchenna Nwosu plus veterans Greg Townsend and Michael Hutchings as players that have improved rapidly in the last few weeks.
  • Su'a Cravens' (pictured) hybrid position has become a big story since Jabari Ruffin created a hole at SAM linebacker.  Wilcox calls his spot "the dollar" and explained that he is really a third safety in nickel situations not a true linebacker. In general though, Wilcox writes off the whole situation as semantics.
  • Here is Sarkisian's presser with some great stuff on Leonard Williams...

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