Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Notebook: Trojans have focused practice
By Johnny Curren
With USC’s matchup with Oregon State three days away, the Trojans' practice was marked with intensity on Wednesday, with USC coach Steve Sarkisian praising his staff for making a concerted effort to ensure that everyone was focused and on the same page coming off a tough loss to Boston College.
“All in all, Wednesday practice was good -- it was competitive; it was spirited,” Sarkisian said. “I was really encouraged by our coaching staff’s ability to keep an edge. I thought it was evident today – the attention to details, the focus on the little things. I think the players felt that today, because that’s what we’ve been preaching since the locker room at Boston College. And so, I think there was a real emphasis on that. I think, really, for the most part, we really responded to that.”
Redshirting a possibility for Dawson?
Injured senior linebacker Lamar Dawson might be a candidate for a redshirt.
Senior linebacker Lamar Dawson suited up for the shorts, shoulder pads and helmets practice session on Wednesday, but again, he was limited – as has been the case throughout the season so far.
The three-year starter out of Junction City, Kentucky, tore ligaments in his knee midway through the 2013 season, and he hasn’t returned to full-time action. Sarkisian said at one point earlier this season that he was optimistic that Dawson might be able to get back in the flow of things after the bye week, but that hasn't happened.
Still, Sarkisian is hopeful that Dawson will be able to contribute at some point this season, but he did admit that the topic of redshirting him has come up.
“There is a potential of that,” Sarkisian said. “That really becomes a reality probably more toward halfway through the year. We’re obviously not quite there yet. We’re about a quarter of the way through it all. We’ve got some time still.”
More injury news
Tailback Tre Madden (turf toe) did not suit up or practice on Wednesday, although he was in attendance.
Offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers suited up, but he did not appear to do much, and then he left the field midway through practice carrying a knee brace. "Khaliel has had a little thing with his knee," Sarkisian said. "It has not been serious, but he kind of re-aggravated his knee, so we’re just trying to take care of it."
Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu went to the sideline late after taking a shot to the ribs, but the injury is not believed to be serious.
Redshirt junior wide receiver Victor Blackwell was not in attendance, and Sarkisian said he didn't know if he would return to the team.
Sarkisian was asked about the status of cornerback Josh Shaw, who has been suspended indefinitely since late August, and he answered by saying, "Nothing has changed."
Offensive lineman Jordan Simmons did not appear to be at practice, although Sarkisian did not discuss him during his media scrum.
With Rodgers out of action, Giovanni Di Poalo was the primary center with the No. 2 offense.
With it being a game week, the No. 1 offensive and defensive units spent a lot of time going up against the scout teams. Late in the day, nose tackle Cody Temple caught everyone’s attention when he made interceptions on back-to-back plays during one of these periods.
Adoree’ Jackson had another solid day, primarily on defense. He began practice going with the wide receivers during individual drills, but then switched over to the defensive side of the ball for the majority of the rest of the day.