warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Football Spring Practice Recap: Defense Dominates; Injuries Persist

Jordan Schuchmann |
April 4, 2014 | 10:34 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Darreus Rogers starred on the field and in the team dance-off on Thursday. (Neon Tommy/Charles Magovern)
Darreus Rogers starred on the field and in the team dance-off on Thursday. (Neon Tommy/Charles Magovern)
Defense Balls Out

The Trojan defense walked onto Howard Jones Field energized, and it showed early. On the first drive of practic,e they forced two interceptions. The success continued throughout the practice as the defense showed their strength by stopping the run game and rushing the quarterback. Quarterbacks Cody Kessler, Max Browne, and Jalen Greene were all pressured each time they dropped back in the pocket. The interior defensive line is strong and they have the ability to plug holes and knock the offensive line back. They’re also big. The group includes giants like Delvon Simmons (6-6, 300), Antwaun Woods (6-0, 310) and Kenny Bigelow (6-3, 300). Redshirt sophomore linebacker Scott Starr had a very good practice, including a sack during the last scrimmage period. Starr has been playing with the ones throughout the spring, and is hoping to keep that spot come August. At the end of practice Coach Sarkisian commented on the defense saying, “[the defense] was locked in and focused.”

Rodgers Shines

Sophomore wide receiver Darreus Rogers stood out today at practice. During the scrimmage periods, Rogers had two touchdown catches, including one where he leaped over his defender, preventing the interception and scoring. Sarkisian said a practice like the one Rogers had “goes a long way.”

READ MORE: Sloppy Tuesday; Day 7 Of USC Spring Practice Faces Winds

Injury Updates

The Trojans are a little banged up right now with several players not dressing or participating in practices. Some of the notable players not dressed today were Josh Shaw, Leonard Williams, Su’a Cravens, Lamar Dawson, Soma Vainuku, Buck Allen, Justin Davis, Ty Isaac and J.R. Tavai. Coach Sarkisian thinks that Allen and Cravens will return before the end of spring ball, but did not comment on the others. However, he did say he wants a 100 percent healthy football team in August and he doesn’t want to risk that now. Although no one wants players to be injured, there is a positive. Backups are able to get reps with the starting group now, and that experience will go a long way in improving the team’s depth, something much needed after the NCAA sanctions. 

Reach Staff Writer Jordan Schuchmann here or follow him here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.