The USC football team returned to Howard Jones Field on Tuesday after a 10-day hiatus, as it entered its second full week of spring practice under new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Sarkisian applauded the team for its ability to stay in shape following the team’s spring break.
“From a physical standpoint, our conditioning was pretty good and that just shows their willingness to working during spring break to keep up with the pace of practice,” Sarkisian said.
On the practice field, the team continues to adapt to Sarkisian’s much faster playing style and new system in general, while a lot of players continue to compete with their teammates in key position battles.
Coming into the spring, everyone knew that the most intriguing position battle would come at quarterback. Sarkisian could elect to go with incumbent redshirt junior Cody Kessler or up-and-coming redshirt freshman Max Browne, both of whom are still learning to adapt to Sarkisian’s newly installed no-huddle offense.
“Each and every day and every rep, it comes more smoothly and you get more comfortable every time you get out there in the team setting,” Browne said.
Browne claimed that he benefited from the break, using it to watch film and see what he has to work on with his mechanics.
Kessler agreed, saying that as the offense continues to play with each other and gets used to the system, the tempo of play will come along with it.
“Once you start getting into the rhythm of things and running the same plays, guys are going to be flying around,” Kessler said.
Sarkisian seemed to be happy with the performance of all quarterbacks in just the team’s fourth practice this spring.
“The quarterbacks made much quicker decisions today,” Sarkisian said.
The offensive line also appears to getting more comfortable on the field, especially center Max Tuerk, who looks like he is starting to snap the ball better.
There was a lot of extracurricular activity after the whistle in the 7-on-7 set on Tuesday.
It also got chippy at times, particularly when redshirt junior wide receiver Victor Blackwell and junior cornerback Kevon Seymour got into a little quarrel towards the end of practice.
Sarkisian liked the feistiness to an extent as it showed that the team has aggressiveness, but he does not appreciate it with respect to the pace of play.
“If guys feel like they have time to yap at the guy across from them, we’re not snapping the ball fast enough,” Sarkisian said.
He did praise the defense, however, for their improved communication and also said he thought they showed a great ability to impact and strip the football.
Tailback Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen is getting looks in the wheel route and on one instance caught a long touchdown pass from Kessler.
Freshman offensive lineman Toa Lobendahn took a lot of reps with the first team at the guard position.
USC commits Damien Mama and Adoree’ Jackson were present at practice on Tuesday, while 2015 verbal commit Ricky Town was also in attendance.