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2020 Fall Camp Report #6: Helton Recaps First Scrimmage

Oct 19, 2020

The Trojans held a 60-play live scrimmage at the Coliseum this weekend, and look to keep improving as they approach their season opener.

  • USC head coach Clay Helton said there were no new injuries sustained during Saturday's scrimmage. He confirmed that last week, LB Juliano Falaniko sprained his ankle and CB Dorian Hewett sprained his back. Hewett is expected back today while Falaniko's injury will keep him out a few weeks.
  • Helton said QB Kedon Slovis had his best day of camp thus far on Saturday. "I thought he had a day where he walked in there, looked extremely sharp, was decisive with his decisions, protected the ball and gave his kids opportunities to make plays down the field," Helton said.
  • Helton also said that WR Bru McCoy stood out. "It was nice to see him really show his skill level and see what he can do," Helton said. "He looked extremely comfortable out there."
  • RB Stephen Carr has had his best camp since arriving at USC, according to Helton. "Last, week he really took a step forward. We challenged him. And I think competition brings out the best in us all," Helton said. "We had a really physical day on Wednesday, which was our full pad day, and I thought Stephen set the tone for the entire day with his physicality. Stephen is a guy that can make people miss ... On that day, it was, 'I'm going to pound the ball between the tackles. I'm going to show you my physicality.'"
  • On the other side of the ball, Helton noted that DL Marlon Tuipulotu played well on Saturday. "He gave you what you expect from an older leader," Helton said. "He walked into the Coliseum with the right attitude, really had a good day."
  • Helton also called CB Olaijah Griffin "The Energizer Bunny." "Whether it was special teams, defense, his energy level from the beginning of practice to the end of practice I thought was off the charts," Helton said.
  • Helton was impressed with defensive coordinator Todd Orlando's defense overall, but noted one area for improvement. "TO did, I thought, a really smart job keeping things simple, letting the guys play, communicate together, and you didn't see a lot of busts on the defensive front," he said. "Where we've got to grow [defensively] is winning the one-on-one battles, in my opinion. We had some big plays down the field."
  • Helton praised true freshman defensive linemen Kobe Pepe and Tuli Tuipulotu. "With COVID and being away, Kobe had put on some weight and needed to shed a couple pounds, get back in shape, and he has. Since coming back with us in July, he's had a great sense of urgency to get his body where he's not just a 2-to-3 play guy and out," Helton said. "Tuli has been awesome. From Day 1. And I can see him contributing this year ... His older brother [Marlon Tuipulotu] is on him every day, making sure that he's doing right."

Gallery: (10-16-2020) Oct. 17 Coliseum Scrimmage