August 12, 2008

Defense dominates first fall scrimmage

The Trojan football team took the field inside The Coliseum later Tuesday afternoon for its first scrimmage of fall camp.

And, depending who was talking, the day was a total success.

The defense dominated as only Garrett Green and the third-team offense found the end zone.

"It was most definitely a success," cornerback Kevin Thomas said. "If we could hold the offense to a lot of three-and-outs and no touchdowns, it'd be a great day for us.

"I just think we were playing a little harder. We had guys out there playing fast, and our guys were all completing their assignments."

Green connected with wide receiver Brandon Carswell for a 43-yard touchdown down the left sideline, but with that exception, the offense really struggled.

"We didn't get much done today," Pete Carroll said. "I want to see the film. We did pressure a lot today, and it was hard on us."

Both Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain moved the ball during the two-minute drill, but neither could get his offense into the end zone.

"The defense obviously played well," Corp said. "But, we definitely need to improve."

At the end of the first half, Corp fumbled a snap and Brian Cushing recovered. Then, Brian Baucham picked off Mustain in the end zone to end the practice.

Corp completed 6-of-13 passes for 60 yards, and he rushed seven times for 26 yards.

"He did a nice job with his feet," Pete Carroll said. "He picked and chose the right times to get out of the pocket. He showed he's got some good instincts."

Mustain completed 9-of-13 attempts for 94 yards.

Neither quarterback benefited from the Trojan ground game, as C.J. Gable looked like the only effective back.

With all the talk about backs like Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson, Carroll said Gable's not in the back of his mind.

"He's not lost in my shuffle. He's right on top of the stack," Carroll said. "He's a really good football player. I don't worry about C.J. at all. He's just getting back to full speed now."

While the backs did struggle running the ball, both Allen Bradford and Marc Tyler looked good catching the ball out of backfield, with each back picking up a key first down with a 15-yard-plus catch.

Extra Points

• Bradford, Tyler and Broderick Green combined to rush for no yards on 11 carries.

Travon Patterson led the team with four catches, gaining 49 yards.

Malcolm Smith led the team with four tackles. Jordan Campbell was one of six players with three tackles, including two for losses.

Nick Howell moved to center with Michael Reardon out with a hip injury.

Blake Ayles didn't participate after taking a shot to the head. He's day-to-day.

Wes Horton, Jurrell Casey, Armond Armstead and Malik Jackson were on the field at the same time for a number of reps, and the group looked good.

Drew McAllister had the biggest hit of the day, decleating a receiver going over the middle.

• The team will go through its second two-a-day practice Wednesday.


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