Wednesday Practice Report

Joe McKnight (Getty Images/Kevin C.Cox)

Lots of news coming out of Wednesday's practice including: Rey Maualuga will start against Arizona State, Mark Sanchez made progress and Joe McKnight didn't practice. Look inside for all the details.

Sanchez Gets Reps

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez returned to the practice field on Wednesday and showed good progress by participating in a third of the plays.

"He threw the ball really well, and he practiced well today," Pete Carroll said. "He did all of the stuff we needed him to do.

"This is what the doctors hoped he could do. The doctors thought if he made through today and didn't have any problem he could go full-go tomorrow."

Carroll was pleased by Sanchez's performance on Wednesday, but said the main issue is to see how his knee responds from the work.

If Sanchez doesn't have any swelling or setbacks from Wednesday's work then he will get the majority of the reps at Thursday's practice.

Maualuga Will Start

Rey Maualuga returned to practice on Tuesday, and after two good showings the intimidating senior linebacker is back in the starting lineup.

After practice, Pete Carroll announced that Rey Maualuga looked great in practice and will start this Saturday against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Maualuga currently has 19 tackles and an interception for the Trojans.

News and Notes

- Stanley Havili missed practice on Wednesday with a stiff neck. Havili was kneed in the head by an offensive lineman on the last play of Tuesday's practice. Carroll said he expects Havili to play against Arizona State, but if he is unavailable Adam Goodman and D.J. Shoemate will both see action at fullback.

- Tailback Joe McKnight didn't practice after he experienced swelling in his knee. "Joe just tweaked his knee a little bit," Carroll said. "I think he is going to be alright."

McKnight said he plans to play on Saturday.

- Linebacker Luthur Brown still hasn't received clearance to play against Arizona State, despite the fact that he has been practicing for the last few weeks.

- Kevin Ellison intercepted a Mitch Mustain pass on the sideline near the end of Wednesday's practice. The turnover drew a big cheer from the defense. Mustain threw two interceptions but had a solid day of practice.

- Linebacker Mike Morgan, who suffered a concussion in the Trojans win over Oregon, hasn't returned to practice yet.

- Pete Carroll was very pleased by the tempo and intensity of Wednesday's practice. "We are practicing like crazy. This was a great practice today," Carroll said. "This was a really physical practice today. One of the best days we have had."

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden
at kevin@scplaybook.com

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