Field Matters


Andy Holzman/Los Angeles Daily News

With the season-opener less than two weeks away, let’s hope USC takes care of that dried-out strip of grass around the 20-yard line without using green paint.

Cole Smith Commits To USC

Mission Viejo center Cole Smith committed to USC today about a week after attending practice and telling everyone the Trojans were his first choice. Smith is the son of former Rams all-pro center Doug Smith, who was a USC assistant in the mid-1990′s.

Look Back At Su’a Cravens Saga

"0817_SPO_LDN-L-USC-PRACTICE-MB"USC safety Su’a Cravens, who was out with a groin injury last week, left last Tuesday’s practice and cleaned out his locker. He was apparently upset because some questioned whether he was really hurt. Among those who expressed doubt was an assistant coach.

How upset was he? Some sources say he said he was going to transfer to Oklahoma. He was not answering phone calls from friends. But eventually, his mentor, former USC star Chris Claiborne, came down to campus and met with Cravens.

Claiborne calmed Cravens down and the safety apologized to his teammates. Cravens said Saturday he never cleaned out his locker and never considered going to another school.

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Why No Scrimmage Stats?

"0818_NWS_LDN-L-USC-PRACTICE-5AH" For the first time in memory, USC did not take stats on its official scrimmages. Why not? Some said Steve Sarkisian was against it. Others said USC officials did not want to do it. Whatever the reason, it does a disservice to the fans, who crave knowing how players are doing in the mock games. And when you see the bloated size of the football staff, you can be assured detailed stats are provided to the players. But they lose the credit for their performances. Someone probably made six or seven tackles last night, but we’ll never know.

USC Morning Buzz: Even More On Coliseum Scrimmage

Steve Sarkisian told the team during a Monday morning to cut down on penalties and the Trojans complied with 14 instead of last week’s 15.

“That’s been our main concern, the penalties,” tight end Randall Telfer said. “Those are self-inflicted wounds. A lot of them are from the second and third group, young guys being nervous at the Coliseum.”

Full story here

Later today, I’ll have a detailed account of what happened with safety Su’a Cravens.

Updated Scrimmage Stats, Thoughts

Here’s the official unofficial quarterback stats from tonight:

Cody Kessler 8-9 for 100 yards with one touchdown.

Max Browne 2-7 for 7 yards with 1 INT

Jalen Greene 5 for 10 for 97 yards

Adoree Jackson had two penalties (pass interference, defensive holding) to go with his long punt return for a TD. Javorius Allen scored 2 TDs, including a 5-yard reception from a Kessler pass. The field-goal snapping was again shaky. Darreus Rogers, who was out last week, returned and made a couple nice plays. Nelson Agholor was held out again.

Offensive guard Khaliel Rodgers suffered a knee injury that looked possibly worrisome. Tailback Tre Madden left with turf toe.