The Trojans ended the second week of Fall Camp with a scrimm..."/> The Trojans ended the second week of Fall Camp with a scrimm..."/>

USC Trojans End Week 2 of Fall Camp


The Trojans ended the second week of Fall Camp with a scrimmage at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday night. The hopes for the Trojans taking their seventh straight Pac-10 title were boosted by the events on the sideline as much as those on the field.

Mark Sanchez did some light jogging and step drills on the sideline as well as some throwing. He also worked with rehabilitation coordinator John Meyer on his traction using a kind of tether wrapped around his waist. All in all, it looks as though his rehabilitation after dislocating his kneecap is progressing very well.

On the field, the offense finally showed some spark, but it was the defense that controlled the scrimmage early. On the second play of the scrimmage, Shareece Wright stepped in front of Patrick Turner to intercept a Mitch Mustain pass and take it 26 yards to the house.

On the next series, Clay Matthews, Jr. tipped an Aaron Corp pass and Rey Maualuga picked the floater out of the air to end the offensive drive.

The offense finally got on the board when Stafon Johnson ripped off a 53-yard gain down the sideline on the old student body left. He was tripped up just as he cutback to the center of the field or he would have gone all the way.

After a couple of short passes to tight end Rhett Ellison and a first down run by Corp, Stafon Johnson ran around right end for a four-yard touchdown.

Garrett Green also got a chance to engineer a drive operating behind the second unit line with Abe Markowitz, a walk-on from Panahou High School in Hawaii, at center. The drive stalled, however, when Armond Armstead recovered a fumble on a botched handoff.

Just before the end of the first half, Mitch Mustain hit Travon Patterson with a 26-yard touchdown pass to close out the scoring with the offense up 14-7.

There was only one touchdown drive in the second half as Garrett Green hit Brice Butler on a seven-yard strike over the middle. The drive was set up with passes to tight end Jimmy Miller and runs by Allan Bradford and Green.

In a kickoff return drill, Joe McKnight showed why the coaches are so high on him, weaving his way through defenders then speeding down the sideline before getting pushed out inside the ten-yard line.

McKnight also returned a punt to the 30-yard line, but Mitch Mustain was unable to move the offense, and Jordon Cogdon had to kick a 42-yard field goal.

Later, Mustain connected with tight end Jimmy Miller on a fifty-yard pass and run down to the twenty-five, but again the offense stalled and Jordan Cogdon kicked a field goal from forty-one yards out.

The scoring ended with a Joe Houston field goal to give the offense a 30-7 edge.

Both tight ends, Rhett Ellison and Jimmy Miller, were the workhorse receivers throughout the scrimmage.

The number “7” wasn’t very lucky for the Trojans tonight. Cornerback Cary Harris decided to meet Allan Bradford head-on as the big running back rumbled around right end. Bradford put his head down, and Harris discovered just how bruising a back Bradford can be.

Harris stumbled over to the near sideline where the training staff worked on him for several minutes. It looked as though Harris may have gotten a stinger. Hopefully it is a stinger and not a shoulder separation.

His counterpart on offense, Number 7, Vidal Hazelton, got hit as he reached for a pass and limped to the sideline in obvious pain. We will find out tomorrow just how serious both of these injuries are.

So now, there is just one more week of Fall Camp. Then the coaches will have put in a game plan for the opener at Virginia and decide if Sanchez is healthly enough to start. If not, they will have to pick a starter between Mustain and Corp.

Both quarterbacks worked with the first and second teams tonight, and each had his moments, both good and bad.

Right now, if I had to choose, I would say that Corp has a very slight edge. The one thing USC doesn’t want to do is to start off the Virginia game down seven points after the second play of the game.

Photocredit: Joe Andras,