The USC football team didn’t waste any time fooling around on April Fools’ Day as they got back to work in windy conditions on Howard Jones Field on Tuesday.
It is now USC’s third week of official spring practice, with the team looking strong after Saturday’s scrimmage.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian asserted that the team was a little sloppy on Tuesday and that it was definitely not the team’s best practice.
“We weren’t just as right as we need to be moving forward,” Sarkisian said. “But that’s why we practice and we’re not going to turn a blind eye to this.”
He looks forward to the team having a cleaner practice on Thursday.
The wind was also a factor, especially for the quarterbacks who were throwing the ball into it.
Quarterback Cody Kessler said he was undeterred by the wind, saying that he will use it as a learning experience moving forward.
“You get comfortable being uncomfortable, and it helps you get used to playing in different conditions when you play in different places,” Kessler said.
Grading the scrimmage
Sarkisian was most impressed with the running game on Saturday. USC ran the ball 70 times with only one healthy scholarship running back.
This meant a lot of work for Tre Madden as well as junior Jahleel Pinner, who got his first carries at tailback in the scrimmage.
“I don’t know if he will be a feature back for us, but he’s a guy that we know we can put in short yard situations,” Sarkisian said.
Kessler also went ahead and critiqued the offense’s performance in the scrimmage.
Most of the team’s problems continue to involve the timing of his throws and his receivers’ routes in the new up-tempo offense.
“I need to speed up a little bit, just with the sense of timing, just knowing where guys are going to be and that’s still coming on with this offense, still learning it,” Kessler said.
In an attempt to clean up some of their missed routes in practice, Kessler also said that he and Nelson Agholor practiced routes on Sunday, the team’s off day.
He also commended the performance of the offensive line protecting the quarterbacks in the scrimmage.
“Our O-line played really well and there were some sacks that were given up, but those guys picked up a lot of blitzes that they got thrown at,” Kessler said.
Tailback Javorious “Buck” Allen and safety Su’a Cravens were out of practice. Cravens was out with a sprained knee and Allen was out with a sprained ankle. Neither injury is anything serious, according to Sarkisian.
Redshirt junior wide receiver George Farmer reportedly tweaked his knee in the scrimmage on Saturday, but came back and looked fine in practice.