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2021 USC Football vs. Arizona State Practice Report: Life Without Drake London

Nov 1, 2021

USC football is prepping for a two-game road trip, starting with this weekend's battle at Arizona State.

  • The Trojans practiced yesterday and moved their regularly-scheduled Tuesday practice up to Monday due to the new NCAA rule that gives all D-I student-athletes the day off on the day of a government election.
  • USC is learning to navigate life without star WR Drake London, who fractured his ankle against Arizona, ending his spectacular season. "Drake is the best receiver in the country," said QB Jaxson Dart. "It's kind of hard not to throw him the ball, but when you look over the tape, there's a lot of guys open that are doing stuff really well ... I think we've got really good guys who are going to step up and take roles and be a big part of what we do for these next four games."
  • USC head coach Donte Williams said that the team's morale is still high despite London's injury, "because there's a lot of opportunities." "I want to say he had already caught 80 footballs, so that's 80 balls that will be divvied amongst different guys, whether that's tight ends, running backs or other receivers."
  • Wideout Kyle Ford will certainly get more looks with London out, and he's excited for the opportunity. "I feel like I can come in and make an impact and take over that role pretty well," he said. "I'm confident. I'm ready."
  • Ford called London his best friend on the team, and said that having gone through two ACL tears himself, he told London, "Just stay positive. Stuff happens. It's football."
  • The coaching staff has also identified TE Lake McRee, who had his first catch last week, as a player who could see more targets with London out. "He's developed and grown at probably a faster rate than anyone anticipated," said USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. "Every day he makes plays, and when you throw him out there, he makes the most of his opportunities ... and because of that, he's getting a lot more opportunities. And hopefully moving forward, his role will continue to grow."
  • Williams also highlighted WR Michael Jackson III, who enrolled in January and shined in spring ball, and WR Kyron Ware-Hudson, who has recovered from a hamstring injury that held him back earlier this season, as players who could see the field more with London out.
  • QB Kedon Slovis noted that RB Keaontay Ingram will be a huge asset going forward. "He turns the 15-yard play into a touchdown," Slovis said. "You can see the playmaking ability he has. He's a really special back."
  • Harrell was coy about how the quarterbacks would be used at ASU, but complimented both of their performances versus Arizona. "They both did a good job doing their jobs," he said. "They knew what we were trying to do, they got us in the right runs, threw the ball well and moved the offense."