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Football team wraps up “mock week”

September 16, 2020

first_imgThe football team held its final practice of the week Thursday evening at Howard Jones field. In what was mostly a series of walk-throughs, the Trojans wrapped up their “mock week” — a week-long simulation of what the regular season practice routine will look like for the team. No. 20 USC now enters its final week of preparation for its season-opening matchup against the reigning national champion, No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide on Sept. 3. Fighting FreshmenOver the course of the offseason, the strength of USC’s nationally acclaimed 2016 recruiting class has been on full display. While the freshmen make up a majority of the bottom-half of the depth chart for the Trojans, the talent which USC’s youth possesses has broken through on several occasions throughout summer workouts and Fall Camp. If the talent of these freshmen is evident, then the confidence which they bear on the field is that plus more. Following Wednesday’s practice, freshman cornerback Jack Jones told reporters that he expects to win the Heisman Award this season; he is currently listed at third on the depth chart.“The thing that I really appreciate about these freshmen coming in is that they’re confident,” head coach Clay Helton said. “They feel like they’re the best in the world, and that’s the approach you’ve got to take. I want that. I want them to go out there and think, ‘I can beat anyone in the world.’”With regards to the offense, USC imports five standout freshmen into its receiving corps this season. One of the more notable performers among the freshman wideouts this summer has been Michael Pittman Jr. “[Pittman] reminds you a little bit of a Robert Woods; he’s coming up to get extra film and doing things on his own as a student of the game to really propel himself,” Helton said. “He’s put himself in a position to contribute — not only on offense, but also on special teams.”it’s a special battleAn offseason position battle has developed within the Trojans’ special teams unit. Redshirt sophomores Reid Budrovich and Chris Tilbey are battling for starting punter duties for the upcoming season. “We had a very honest conversation,” Helton said. “I brought both [Budrovich and Tilbey] in at the same time, and [told them that the position of] punter is almost like quarterback — it’s about who’s producing at the right time.” The special teams unit has been an area of focus for Helton and special teams coordinator John Baxter throughout the offseason. Field goal kicking and kickoff execution have been areas of emphasis for the team during its preparation for Alabama. Kicker Matt Boermeester, a redshirt junior, has made vast improvements in his kicking over the summer. “Coach Baxter has done a tremendous job of taking the draw out of [Boermeester’s] ball,” Helton said. “[Baxter] has really helped him become a consistent kicker.”The Trojans resume practice next Tuesday with less than a week until their season opener against the Crimson Tide.last_img

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